Child’s life-changing injuries lead to theme park fine

A theme park in North Yorkshire has been fined £333, 344 and ordered to pay costs of £16,183 after a child was left with life-changing head injuries after being thrown from a ride.

The incident happened at Lightwater Valley Attractions on 30 May 2019. The child was ejected from the Twister ride.

According to the HSE investigation, the theme park’s procedures for the ride stated that anyone between 1.2m and 1.5m tall must wear seat belts, but the procedure was not always followed.  This was proven by CCTV footage and was mentioned in statements by members of the public. On examination of the restraining systems, many belts were not functioning correctly. On several occasions, the final position of the lap bar restraint allowed significant gaps to remain in the containment and did not fully contain smaller passengers.

“Our investigation found that the theme park did not implement suitable operating procedures and monitoring of ride operators in relation to the ride restraints.

“This was an entirely avoidable incident. Several children were put at risk and Lightwater Valley has now been held to account for their failings.”

The child’s mother said ‘the little boy I took to Lightwater Valley that day is not the same boy that woke up after the surgery. I still grieve for my little boy.’