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Family Screams For Help After 9-Year-Old Girl Is Left Unbuckled On 'Mega Drop' Ride As It Ascends

Photo: TikTok
Alabama drop tower ride

An Alabama family is counting their blessings after what could have led to a tragic accident at a local fair.

In a video that has circulated across social media, 9-year-old Isabella Carmicheal is seen waiting to ride a drop-tower ride at the Greater Gulf State Fair in Alabama. 

The video shows the terrified girl sitting unbuckled as the 'Mega Drop' ride begins. 

In the video that was shared by Isabella's mom, April Piper, the little girl appears excited as she sits in her seat on a free fall ride at the fair.  

While the ride’s over-the-shoulder harness is secured over her body, her seatbelt remains unbuckled. 

Two ride operators are seen walking right past her as she patiently awaits for them to assist her to fasten her seatbelt.  

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One ride operator checks the seatbelts of riders next to Isabella but fails to check hers. 

As Isabella calls to someone off-camera, informing them that her seatbelt isn’t buckled, the ride suddenly starts and is lifted 75 feet into the air. 

Family members holler to get the attention of ride operators as the little girl screams in terror.  

The ride is stopped the mistake is realized. The rider seated next to Isabella is seen reaching out to her and comforting her. 

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The harrowing video was posted by Isabella’s mother, April Piper, who claimed that she was not at the state fair at the time of the incident and that her best friend was the one who took her daughter and alerted ride operators that her seatbelt was unbuckled. 

The video was captured by April’s son and Isabella’s older brother.  

The ride was brought down to the ground shortly after the video ended. 

“The ride did stop but only because my best friend was able to scream bloody murder in order to get the attention of the ride operators who were VERY busy in the control corner goofing off,” April wrote in the caption of the video. 

She added that while the ride was lowered safely and Isabella was let off, the incident should have never happened in the first place. 

“No one expected it [the ride] to actually start ascending before the ride operators checked her seat!” she wrote.  

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April claimed that she reached out to the directors of the Greater Gulf State Fair to report the incident. 

“All I’ve gotten in response was an email that says, ‘we take safety seriously here at the Greater Gulf State Fair and it is a priority. We have notified our Executive Director of this situation and will pass this information along to our Carnival company so if this happened, it won’t happen again!” April wrote. 

“IF this happened! My baby thought she was going to die literally.” 

TikTok viewers were horrified by the video — linking it to the tragic death of a 14-year-old boy who lost his life earlier this year after slipping from his seat on a free fall ride in Orlando.

“That worker should be fired this is extremely dangerous and could’ve had a bad outcome. I’m glad your baby is safe,” one user commented. 

“A worker walked passed her and still nothing was said. The worker didn’t check either. There are too many things going wrong here,” another user wrote. 

“Her terror is heartbreaking!!” another user pointed out. 

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Isabella's mom says she has had trouble sleeping since the incident. 

In response to a user who asked April if she planned on suing the state fair, she said that she “might” but she isn’t certain yet. 



“What I am hoping to gain out of this for me and Isabella isn’t stuff you necessarily get out of a lawsuit,” she says. 

Right now, all she is seeking is an apology from the Executive Director of the Greater Gulf State Fair to Isabella who she claims minimized her daughter’s traumatic experience. 



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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.