Abiah Jones is the name of the girl who tragically died yesterday after falling 100 feet off a ferris wheel during a school trip. Classmates watched as the 11-year-old girl from Pleasantville, New Jersey fell from the upper half of the ride just after midday on Friday as the ride at the Wildwood boardwalk, also in New Jersey, was still moving. Onlookers were horrified as Abiah fell and landed in the area where her classmates were getting on and off the ride.
Police said there was no sign that it was an intentional jump or horseplay. The ride owners said it appeared that the girl was alone in one of the car’s passenger gondolas, which is secured with a double latch. The door of the car opens inward, making it difficult to climb out of, the company said.
The tragic accident happened during the boardwalk’s annual Education Extravaganza – a day for students from grades three to 12 and their teachers to enjoy the park and nearby beach and amusement pier.
The girl was on a trip with her school, the Pleasant Tech Academy. After falling, she was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead about 45 minutes later.
This was the first death of a customer in the history of the company, which has owned amusement parks at the Jersey shore since 1969. After closing the Ferris wheel and a few others rides throughout the afternoon, the amusement park’s owners closed the entire park at 4pm. Two bags of the girl’s clothing were taken from the scene by police. The ride passed its last inspection on March 17 2011, according to authorities.
The ferris wheel that Abiah Jones fell out of.
A policeman searches for clues.
Police officers at the amusement park yesterday.