Chris Cannon with the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce confirmed that “The Wave Rider” has been permanently removed from The Island in Pigeon Forge after an 8-year-old girl fell out of the ride.Cannon said the permit under which the Wave Rider operated was amended to reflect the removal.
PIGEON FORGE (WATE) – The Pigeon Forge Police Department said they are investigating an incident at The Island in Pigeon Forge.
Police said an 8-year-old girl fell out of “The Wave Rider” at the Island around 5 p.m. Saturday.
The Island in Pigeon Forge said the ride is closed until it undergoes safety reviews. They said the manufacturer, Rides 4 U, is also sending a technician to inspect the ride.
“The well-being of our guests is our number one concern. Our priority at The Island in Pigeon Forge is our guests’ safety. The ride has been taken out of service and is currently under review,” David Wear, Vice President of Operations at The Island in Pigeon Forge, said.
The Wave Rider opened at The Island in Pigeon Forge in June. The surfboard themed ride spins people in circles. Wear said there is a safety harness on the ride.
As the park waits for answers into what caused the fall, some parents worry about the safety of their children.
“It does concern me because then you think twice about are you going to take them on that ride next time? Is it going to happen to your child, is it going to happen to you? Brandi Dickson said.
The child who fell was alert and talking, but complained of pain, according police. Detectives said they did not know the specific nature of the girl’s injuries, but she was taken to University of Tennessee Medical Center.
“What’s frustrating is that this person and this family had to go through this incident and that’s what on our hearts,” Wear said. “This hits home for us. It breaks my heart not just as a local guy not only just an Island guy and not just a father that something like this happened, so our hearts and prayers are with them and the safety of this guest and we’re hoping for a speedy recovery.”