NJ shuts down all ‘Sizzler’ rides after girl ejected and killed
DEERFIELD — The state has shut down all of the Sizzler-type rides in New Jersey until an investigation is completed into what caused one of them to eject a 10-year-old girl and kill her on Saturday.
State Police said Hailey McMullen was ejected from the Xtreme ride at the Deerfield Harvest festival about 6:15 p.m. Hailey was flown to Cooper University Health Care in Camden where she was pronounced dead.
The ride is also known as the "Super Sizzler" by amusement ride manufacturer Wisdom.
State Police and the Department of Community Affairs, which regulates amusement rides, have not disclosed additional information about the incident since initial statements on Saturday. DCA released inspection record of the Deerfield ride going back to 1998 showing past electrical repairs, missing inspection and compliance stickers and a problem with a bolt.
The Sizzler passed its inspection for the 2019 season on April 24.
The ride's only prior incident was at a fair in May when a boy had to be escorted off the ride by a police officer and his father when he found difficulty breathing.
The DCA said it annually inspects all amusement park and carnival rides prior to the start of the ride season. The inspection includes a thorough mechanical and electrical examination; a check that the ride passed an annual non-destructive test that uses specialized equipment that can show flaws or damage to parts that may not be visible to the naked eye; a review of the ride maintenance logs and checklists; and confirmation that operator and maintenance technicians all have valid training certifications.
The annual permit assures that the ride has passed the inspection tests and is properly insured.
The DCA said there are eight active "Sizzler" rides in New Jersey besides the one operated by Skelly including Lynam's Amusements, William Reiss (aka Blue Sky Amusements of Moriches, New York), Florida-based Reithoffer Shows, Inner Amusement and Tommy's Midway.
Skelly said it has not operated its Sizzler since Saturday's incident.
Emergency calls from the night Hailey was ejected from the ride paint a grim picture of what happened at the Deefield Harvest Festival. The calls redacted by Cumberland County officials describe the girl being being pushed under the ride.
Hailey's obituary describes a girl who "viewed the world as an adventure" and who wanted to be a veterinarian and a famous YouTuber.
"Hailey at the young age of ten was the type of person that everyone should strive to be, she was wise beyond her years. We miss her dearly and our only comfort is she walks with our lord and saviour Jesus Christ," the obituary says.
Hailey’s viewing will be open to the public on Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. at 1524 Bridgeton Millville Pike, Millville. The private funeral will be held on Saturday.
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