Florida carnival-goers made a daring rescue of a toddler Saturday night after it had been dangling from a ride after a possible malfunction, MyFOXOrlando.com reported.
The mother, Sherri Pinkerton, desperately clung to her daughter Gracie while suspended about 35 feet in the air on the “Crazy Bus” ride while horrified onlookers watched. When she lost her grip on the child, people standing below the ride were able to catch the toddler, MyFOXOrlando.com reported. Later, firefighters rescued the Pinkerton with a ladder.
"I let go of her and she grabbed my shirt," Pinkerton told WKMG-TV. "So, I had to pry her hands off my shirt and let her fall."
Pinkerton said she could not hang on while also holding her daughter.
"There was nothing I could do," she said. "I couldn't hold both of us. I held onto her for as long as I could."
Port Orange paramedic Scott Russell said Monday he found Pinkerton dangling over the ride at a carnival about six miles south of Daytona Beach.
Russell and another paramedic used a ladder to climb to her. When they reached the top, they also found six screaming children inside.
"We got all the kids to move to the back of the ride, and we helped the woman climb back in," Russell said.
A message seeking comment was left with Pinkerton.
"I watched it for 10 minutes," Marc Chrisley, who thought the woman was going to lose her grip, told MyFOXOrlando.com. "She looked like she was fixing to give out any second."
Witnesses said the Pinkerton and the toddler were getting off the ride when it unexpectedly lifted back into the air, MyFOXOrlando.com reported. State inspectors are investigating whether the ride malfunctioned or whether operator error was to blame.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.