CENTRAL POINT, Ore. — A 9-year-old boy is left with three stitches in his face after a ride at the Jackson County Fair malfunctioned. That boy is otherwise okay and home with his family, but officials are still trying to figure out what went wrong.
The zipper ride is still closed after Thursday’s incident. Officials say it was likely a bolt that broke loose, but they still aren’t sure how. 9-year-old Brendan Hasse was standing in line when the bolt hit him just below the right eye, then ricocheted off his face and hit him in the shoulder.
Officials say there are few answers around how it happened. They say inspections were done daily by the ride operator company, Funtastic. Those inspections are according to the equipment manufacturer’s instructions.
Ride operators say the ride had no history of issues. Meanwhile, Brendan’s adoptive parents say their son spent a couple of hours in the hospital and received three stitches below his eye, but they say it was a major setback for him, as he was overcoming a fear of fair rides.
“It’s not so much the incident. It’s more what happened on the inside. I mean, he was trying to overcome fears, and what happens? You know, he gets hit in the face with a piece of metal,” said Brendan’s mother, Lynette Hasse.
Fair officials say state inspectors with the building codes division will be taking a look at the ride to figure out the cause of the malfunction. In the meantime, that ride will remain closed. The say they will also be evaluating their relationship with the carnival company, Funtastic. Apart from this incident, they say that relationship has been seamless.