WILDWOOD, N.J. — A young girl has died after falling from The Giant Wheel at Mariner’s Landing, which is located at Schellenger Avenue and the Boardwalk.
The accident, authorities say, happened at about 12:30 p.m. Friday when 11-year-old Abiah Jones, a student at Pleasant Tech Academy Charter School in Pleasantville, NJ, fell from the ride while it was in motion. The girl was in a gondola approximately 100 feet from the ground when she feel.
Jones was airlifted to Cape Regional Medical Center where, according to the Cape May County prosecutor’s office, she was pronounced dead.
Police aren’t saying anything about how she fell or what happened leading up to the fall, but say she landed in an area where people enter and exit the ride.
“They said that she was looking over to see over the ledge and she fainted and fell over,” said one eyewitness.
Morey’s Piers released a statement that read in part:
“The exact cause of the incident has not been determined, but at this time does not appear to be mechanical in nature. The incident is being investigated. The Morey staff and family offer our thoughts and prayers to the family.”
Select rides at the pier had opened at 11 a.m. It was packed with children in grades three through 12 who were attending day two of the annual Education Extravaganza. Morey’s Piers web site describes the event as one that makes learning, “a day at the beach.”
Although the cause of this incident is under investigation, at this time, police say it appears to be just a “freak” accident.
The Ferris wheel, which is 156 feet high and one of the tallest on the East Coast, passed annual inspection on March 17th.
The Wildwood Police Department and Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office are investigating.
The parks closed at 5 p.m. and are scheduled to reopen Saturday.
Reported by Oren Liebermann, CBS 3; Pat Loeb, KYW Newsradio