Friend describes teen fairground ride horror

18-year-old student Beth Thorpe fell from The Rocker ride on Worthing seafront

Friend describes teen fairground ride horror

First published in News by , Crime reporter

A teenager plunged 15ft after slipping out of a moving fairground ride.

Horrified witnesses feared 18-year-old Brighton and Hove City College student Beth Thorpe had died after seeing her “flung like a rag doll” from the Rocker ride on Thursday evening.

The incident at about 9.30pm was filmed by onlookers at the temporary fair on Worthing seafront and police officers are examining the footage.

Yesterday Beth was recovering at her home in Richmond Court, Worthing after being discharged from the Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton where she was taken with suspected head and ankle injuries.


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Her mother Marilyn Vaughan told The Argus she initially feared her daughter was dead when Sussex Police broke the news.

She said: “It was awful when the police told us what happened.

“She can't remember anything and is very shaken up.”

Her aunt Anne Pilbean added: “It was an absolute nightmare.”

Faith Paine, 18, who attended Chatsmore High School in Worthing with Beth, was on the same ride when the incident happened.

Faith, from Worthing, who works at Southern Water in Brighton, said: “Seconds after the ride started she was flung about like a rag doll and started foaming at the mouth, immediately I knew something was wrong.

“She then started to come up out of her seat as her body turned to jelly and just slipped out.

“I was trying to scream stop and help but it was too late.

“She came straight out the seat as the ride 'Rocker' went up and then plummeted downwards and she landed on her head and back, hitting her ankle on the way.

“It was without a doubt the most horrific thing I have ever seen in my life and I am shocked she's even alive.

“It will stay with me forever.”

Faith called the ambulance and put her hand behind Beth's head - which covered her in blood.

Sarah Felton added: “Her ankle was broken as bone was popping out but she also hit her head pretty hard so was bleeding.

“My partner ran over to make sure she was breathing and he ended up saving her life.”

Katie Rose Hockley added: “I was on the ride when it happened I heard a big bang and I looked over and a woman was on the floor, she had dropped from the highest point and banged her head and ankle on the metal.

“We all got taken off the ride immediately. Never going on a fair ride again.”

John Mitchell, director for communities at Adur District Council and Worthing Borough Council, said: “Following an accident on a fairground ride at Worthing seafront our thoughts are with the woman injured in the accident and her family.

“We wish her a full and speedy recovery. We are grateful to the emergency services who attended the scene promptly.

“The fairground ride operators and Worthing Borough Council will fully cooperate with the Health and Safety Executive and relevant authorities into the investigation that will take place.

“In the meantime, the ride will remain closed until HSE clearance is received to re-open the ride. At the current time we are unable to confirm when the investigation will be completed.”

A Sussex Police statement said officers cordoned off the scene after the accident.

Comments (11)

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7:46am Sat 19 Apr 14

NathanAdler says...

I imagine the clip will be on youtube one day.

Alas, I hope the poor girl makes a speedy recovery and is looking forward to all that lovely compensation which she fully deserves!!
I imagine the clip will be on youtube one day. Alas, I hope the poor girl makes a speedy recovery and is looking forward to all that lovely compensation which she fully deserves!! NathanAdler
  • Score: -25

8:32am Sat 19 Apr 14

hyram77 says...

NathanAdler wrote:
I imagine the clip will be on youtube one day.

Alas, I hope the poor girl makes a speedy recovery and is looking forward to all that lovely compensation which she fully deserves!!
Sounds to me like the accident happened due to the poor girl passing out, not necessarily a fault with the ride. The ride is likely to be at the required health and safety standard therefore making compensation unlikely. Still, I guess your culture of "where there is blame there is a claim" is common in today's society. Hope Beth makes a full recovery.
[quote][p][bold]NathanAdler[/bold] wrote: I imagine the clip will be on youtube one day. Alas, I hope the poor girl makes a speedy recovery and is looking forward to all that lovely compensation which she fully deserves!![/p][/quote]Sounds to me like the accident happened due to the poor girl passing out, not necessarily a fault with the ride. The ride is likely to be at the required health and safety standard therefore making compensation unlikely. Still, I guess your culture of "where there is blame there is a claim" is common in today's society. Hope Beth makes a full recovery. hyram77
  • Score: 23

8:39am Sat 19 Apr 14

NathanAdler says...

hyram77 wrote:
NathanAdler wrote:
I imagine the clip will be on youtube one day.

Alas, I hope the poor girl makes a speedy recovery and is looking forward to all that lovely compensation which she fully deserves!!
Sounds to me like the accident happened due to the poor girl passing out, not necessarily a fault with the ride. The ride is likely to be at the required health and safety standard therefore making compensation unlikely. Still, I guess your culture of "where there is blame there is a claim" is common in today's society. Hope Beth makes a full recovery.
I suggest you read my comments on police claims before you pass such judgement. An apology i am sure will come from you, but maybe your culture of "jumping to conclusions" may prevail.
[quote][p][bold]hyram77[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]NathanAdler[/bold] wrote: I imagine the clip will be on youtube one day. Alas, I hope the poor girl makes a speedy recovery and is looking forward to all that lovely compensation which she fully deserves!![/p][/quote]Sounds to me like the accident happened due to the poor girl passing out, not necessarily a fault with the ride. The ride is likely to be at the required health and safety standard therefore making compensation unlikely. Still, I guess your culture of "where there is blame there is a claim" is common in today's society. Hope Beth makes a full recovery.[/p][/quote]I suggest you read my comments on police claims before you pass such judgement. An apology i am sure will come from you, but maybe your culture of "jumping to conclusions" may prevail. NathanAdler
  • Score: -14

10:34am Sat 19 Apr 14

Crazy Cat Lady says...

I have had a horrid experience on this ride (another fair ground so not same ppl) and the ride itself had too much seating room so unless your larger you are likely to end up in the next seat, which I did. I clung on for dear life and had skin ripped off my back. and despite the screams from me and friend they carried the ride on.
Was horrible.
I have had a horrid experience on this ride (another fair ground so not same ppl) and the ride itself had too much seating room so unless your larger you are likely to end up in the next seat, which I did. I clung on for dear life and had skin ripped off my back. and despite the screams from me and friend they carried the ride on. Was horrible. Crazy Cat Lady
  • Score: 0

10:46am Sat 19 Apr 14

MoronSpotter says...

NathanAdler wrote:
hyram77 wrote:
NathanAdler wrote:
I imagine the clip will be on youtube one day.

Alas, I hope the poor girl makes a speedy recovery and is looking forward to all that lovely compensation which she fully deserves!!
Sounds to me like the accident happened due to the poor girl passing out, not necessarily a fault with the ride. The ride is likely to be at the required health and safety standard therefore making compensation unlikely. Still, I guess your culture of "where there is blame there is a claim" is common in today's society. Hope Beth makes a full recovery.
I suggest you read my comments on police claims before you pass such judgement. An apology i am sure will come from you, but maybe your culture of "jumping to conclusions" may prevail.
A bit sanctimonious there, Nathan! I especially like "An apology i am sure will come from you"
[quote][p][bold]NathanAdler[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]hyram77[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]NathanAdler[/bold] wrote: I imagine the clip will be on youtube one day. Alas, I hope the poor girl makes a speedy recovery and is looking forward to all that lovely compensation which she fully deserves!![/p][/quote]Sounds to me like the accident happened due to the poor girl passing out, not necessarily a fault with the ride. The ride is likely to be at the required health and safety standard therefore making compensation unlikely. Still, I guess your culture of "where there is blame there is a claim" is common in today's society. Hope Beth makes a full recovery.[/p][/quote]I suggest you read my comments on police claims before you pass such judgement. An apology i am sure will come from you, but maybe your culture of "jumping to conclusions" may prevail.[/p][/quote]A bit sanctimonious there, Nathan! I especially like "An apology i am sure will come from you" MoronSpotter
  • Score: 6

11:21am Sat 19 Apr 14

Spooky Sue says...

As I said yesterday both our daughters went on this ride about an hour before the incident, and one was so scared she felt like she was falling out so would not ride again. Some of their friends who stayed at the fair witnessed this incident whilst waiting to ride again, and several of them say the girl injured was very drunk when she got on. Whether this is a fact or she was having some sort of medical episode which can give the appearance of being drunk I don't know, but whatever perhaps in hindsight she should not have got on the ride or been allowed to get on in the first place. I do believe the ride has been cleared for use again from today, but even so perhaps just some extra straps or belt to help hold people on especially between the leg area as was my daughters problem would prevent injury on this ride.
As I said yesterday both our daughters went on this ride about an hour before the incident, and one was so scared she felt like she was falling out so would not ride again. Some of their friends who stayed at the fair witnessed this incident whilst waiting to ride again, and several of them say the girl injured was very drunk when she got on. Whether this is a fact or she was having some sort of medical episode which can give the appearance of being drunk I don't know, but whatever perhaps in hindsight she should not have got on the ride or been allowed to get on in the first place. I do believe the ride has been cleared for use again from today, but even so perhaps just some extra straps or belt to help hold people on especially between the leg area as was my daughters problem would prevent injury on this ride. Spooky Sue
  • Score: 4

11:55am Sat 19 Apr 14

From beer to uncertainty says...

If the ride relies on any level of competence or consciousness to avoid serious injury or death then surely the HSE would seem to have a problem?
The police and HSE must have compelling evidence that no one else could possibly be injured in this way...or someone has lost the plot?

Does the ride have a sign that says "if you don't hold on tight or sit in the correct way or if you pass out then you may be seriously injured or die"?

Perhaps the police might want to give the HSE another call?
Perhaps the HSE felt obliged to reopen it, if they had originally deemed it as safe then keeping it closed might seem an admission that the contraception is inherently unsafe?
If the ride relies on any level of competence or consciousness to avoid serious injury or death then surely the HSE would seem to have a problem? The police and HSE must have compelling evidence that no one else could possibly be injured in this way...or someone has lost the plot? Does the ride have a sign that says "if you don't hold on tight or sit in the correct way or if you pass out then you may be seriously injured or die"? Perhaps the police might want to give the HSE another call? Perhaps the HSE felt obliged to reopen it, if they had originally deemed it as safe then keeping it closed might seem an admission that the contraception is inherently unsafe? From beer to uncertainty
  • Score: -1

1:01pm Sat 19 Apr 14

NathanAdler says...

MoronSpotter wrote:
NathanAdler wrote:
hyram77 wrote:
NathanAdler wrote:
I imagine the clip will be on youtube one day.

Alas, I hope the poor girl makes a speedy recovery and is looking forward to all that lovely compensation which she fully deserves!!
Sounds to me like the accident happened due to the poor girl passing out, not necessarily a fault with the ride. The ride is likely to be at the required health and safety standard therefore making compensation unlikely. Still, I guess your culture of "where there is blame there is a claim" is common in today's society. Hope Beth makes a full recovery.
I suggest you read my comments on police claims before you pass such judgement. An apology i am sure will come from you, but maybe your culture of "jumping to conclusions" may prevail.
A bit sanctimonious there, Nathan! I especially like "An apology i am sure will come from you"
It he or she was half decent it would come. If not, no class. No class at all.
[quote][p][bold]MoronSpotter[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]NathanAdler[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]hyram77[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]NathanAdler[/bold] wrote: I imagine the clip will be on youtube one day. Alas, I hope the poor girl makes a speedy recovery and is looking forward to all that lovely compensation which she fully deserves!![/p][/quote]Sounds to me like the accident happened due to the poor girl passing out, not necessarily a fault with the ride. The ride is likely to be at the required health and safety standard therefore making compensation unlikely. Still, I guess your culture of "where there is blame there is a claim" is common in today's society. Hope Beth makes a full recovery.[/p][/quote]I suggest you read my comments on police claims before you pass such judgement. An apology i am sure will come from you, but maybe your culture of "jumping to conclusions" may prevail.[/p][/quote]A bit sanctimonious there, Nathan! I especially like "An apology i am sure will come from you"[/p][/quote]It he or she was half decent it would come. If not, no class. No class at all. NathanAdler
  • Score: -5

5:31pm Sat 19 Apr 14

BURIRAM says...

From beer to uncertainty wrote:
If the ride relies on any level of competence or consciousness to avoid serious injury or death then surely the HSE would seem to have a problem?
The police and HSE must have compelling evidence that no one else could possibly be injured in this way...or someone has lost the plot?

Does the ride have a sign that says "if you don't hold on tight or sit in the correct way or if you pass out then you may be seriously injured or die"?

Perhaps the police might want to give the HSE another call?
Perhaps the HSE felt obliged to reopen it, if they had originally deemed it as safe then keeping it closed might seem an admission that the contraception is inherently unsafe?
Perhaps a sigh should say if you've been drinking alcohol you should not ride
[quote][p][bold]From beer to uncertainty[/bold] wrote: If the ride relies on any level of competence or consciousness to avoid serious injury or death then surely the HSE would seem to have a problem? The police and HSE must have compelling evidence that no one else could possibly be injured in this way...or someone has lost the plot? Does the ride have a sign that says "if you don't hold on tight or sit in the correct way or if you pass out then you may be seriously injured or die"? Perhaps the police might want to give the HSE another call? Perhaps the HSE felt obliged to reopen it, if they had originally deemed it as safe then keeping it closed might seem an admission that the contraception is inherently unsafe?[/p][/quote]Perhaps a sigh should say if you've been drinking alcohol you should not ride BURIRAM
  • Score: 1

8:43pm Sat 19 Apr 14

worthingite says...

Front page story for a bruised eye?
Front page story for a bruised eye? worthingite
  • Score: -2

9:19pm Sat 19 Apr 14

John Steed says...

the accident was nothing to do with the condition of the ride, the ride was safe, the girl blacked out before the ride was at speed. the word accident is appropriate, because thats what it was, nothing more, nothing less.
i am relieved it was not my daughter, however she will be OK and one would assume that untill the medical reasons are determined why she passed out and foamed at the mouth as witnesses describe, she will not go on any fairground rides, drive a car or put herself in any situation where she could injure herself or others. a speedy recovery to her.
the accident was nothing to do with the condition of the ride, the ride was safe, the girl blacked out before the ride was at speed. the word accident is appropriate, because thats what it was, nothing more, nothing less. i am relieved it was not my daughter, however she will be OK and one would assume that untill the medical reasons are determined why she passed out and foamed at the mouth as witnesses describe, she will not go on any fairground rides, drive a car or put herself in any situation where she could injure herself or others. a speedy recovery to her. John Steed
  • Score: 2

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