Police Investigating Teen's Death on Festival Ride

Police and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration were investigating Sunday why a teen fell from a festival ride and died.

Elizabeth K. Mohl, 16, of Neenah, was killed Saturday afternoon after falling 40 to 50 feet from a ride called Air Glory.

Winnebago County Deputy Coroner Chuck Hable said Sunday that a crane would hoist up a person or people in a sling, and at the top the person inside pulls a ripcord. That drops the person or people and they swing back and forth. But for some reason after the cord was pulled, she fell to the ground, he said.

She died several hours later in surgery, Hable said.

Police Sgt. Jim Jewell said Sunday that the department and OSHA were investigating. He wouldn't comment further but said it was too early to say if the matter would be considered criminal.

The girl was attending Lifest, an annual Christian music festival that features rides and sports. Workers shut down the ride after the accident, which occurred about 4:45 p.m.

A prayer service was held at 7 p.m. and the music festival resumed about 7:30 p.m.

Air Glory makes "grown men scream like little girls," according to the Lifest Web site, which says the ride begins by launching two to three people almost 100 feet in the air.

Witness Brian Childers of Kenosha said two people went up in the ride, and when they pulled the release he heard a snapping sound. One person fell and the other remained swinging in the ride, he told the Oshkosh Northwestern.

An autopsy was scheduled for Monday, but Hable said Mohl likely died from the fall.