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October 8th 2020

Personal Injury

Hull Fair ride operator admits fault for accident which left rider with broken jaw after throwing her from seat

Hull Fair ride operator admits fault for accident which left rider with broken jaw after throwing her from seat

The operators of a fairground ride which left a rider with a broken jaw when she was thrown from her seat at Hull Fair last year have admitted fault for the accident.

The operators of a fairground ride which left a rider with a broken jaw when she was thrown from her seat at Hull Fair last year have admitted fault for the accident.

Jade Harrison, 22, also suffered severe dental injuries and had to have metal plates inserted into her face, spending four days in hospital.

She has since undergone extensive specialist dental treatment – at a cost so far of more than £4,000 – which has been paid for by insurers of Airmaxx 360 ride owners, Taylor’s Fun Fairs of Cumbria.

As part of her personal injury legal claim, led by Hudgell Solicitors, Jade has also been placed on a 14 session Cognitive Behavioural Therapy course, aimed at helping her recovery from the psychological impact of what happened to her.

Becci Ashfield, a specialist in personal injury claims at Hudgell Solicitors, represents Jade and alleged in her legal representation to Taylor’s Fun Fairs of Cumbria that they had failed to adequately inspect the ride, and that a failure to enforce an adequate system of inspection had left riders at risk.

Ms Ashfield says Jade still requires substantial further dental treatment, as well as expert medical assessments to consider any possible longer term impact of her injuries, which have included significant swelling to her thigh.

“This was a truly horrific accident which cast a shadow over Hull Fair last year and has had a significant impact on Jade physically and psychologically,” Ms Ashfield added.

“It was a very traumatic experience for her and it was quickly established that she was in need of specialist psychological support, of which she is presently half way through an initial programme.

“Thankfully, the defendants were quick to admit liability and that has paved the way for Jade to also benefit from costly, specialist dental treatment.

“Even now Jade still has some extensive dental work ahead of her, and once this is completed we will be seeking expert medical opinion on any longer term impact of her injuries.”

For Jade, who called for the Airmaxx 360 ride to be scrapped following her injuries, it has been a difficult year, but having started a new university course and recently secured a new job, she is focusing on looking forward.

“A lot of the therapy I have had has been to help me try and put what happened in the past, which has been tough,” she said.

“I struggled to accept what had happened to me and for a long time I was always thinking ‘why me’.  My treatment has been helping me accept that it happened and to try and develop coping strategies for when things affect me.

“I’ve certainly become more anxious, and I was quite an anxious person already.

“When situations arise I’ll find myself imagining the worst case scenario and fretting. I’m also anxious in cars and quite jumpy if there are any loud noises at all.

“I know it has had a big impact on me, but I am grateful for the support I have had and I am now focusing on looking forward.”

‘People said I looked dead. I thought it was a dream’

Witnesses on the night told how Jade was thrown around 10 to 15 feet from Airmaxx 360 ride.

Speaking about the accident last year, Jade said that due to her nervousness of rides she immediately pulled down her own safety barrier when she sat down in her seat.

“I pulled the safety bar down myself as soon as I got on as I get paranoid that rides are going to set off without my barrier being down,” she said.

“When the attendant came around he clicked in the belt to hold the barrier in place. I think he pushed down on the bar, but he didn’t check it by pulling at it to see that it wouldn’t come free when jolted.

“When the ride set off I heard a loud click from the barrier, which worried me, but when I asked my friend he said his seat had made the same sound, so again, despite me being a worrier, I told myself all must be fine.

“I remember the sensation of falling out, but I don’t remember what I was thinking. There wasn’t a period where I thought the barrier was coming loose, it just happened all at once.

“I just remember seeing silver, as if it was the floor. I didn’t know I had been flown through the air like a ragdoll until my mum told me in hospital.

“People have said I looked like I was dead, with my eyes open. I thought it was a dream, I gave it a minute and then realised it wasn’t a dream and that’s when I started to panic and people were telling me not to move. I thought I’d lost all of my teeth, my mouth felt like it had been scrambled as it was full of blood.

“The barrier must have come free, and when that happened my life was left relying on the clasp and buckle of a belt.”

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