WARNING: Disturbing content.
Shylah Rodden’s family are considering legal action as the 26-year-old continues to recover in hospital after being hit by a roller coaster.
Rodden was impressed by the Rebel Coaster ride at the Melbourne Royal Show last Sunday night.
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She suffered multiple fractures and a brain injury and remains in critical condition.
Eyewitnesses say she was “spellbound” by something on the ground, possibly a phone, and didn’t see the ride coming as she allegedly stepped onto the tracks.
But a week after the incident, lawyers representing the family say they have not ruled out legal action.
Aki Munir, practice head of Arnold Thomas and Becker, told The Herald Sun: “We are investigating the initiation of proceedings against the Melbourne show and the ride operator. It is a negligent act.”
The firm is also representing Rodden in a separate civil lawsuit related to an incident in 2018, she said.
Earlier, an eyewitness who accidentally caught the moment the woman was thrown into the air by a roller coaster said he and his family were traumatized.
Jordan, whose surname has been withheld, told 7NEWS.com.au only a small number of people witnessed the entire events.
He filmed the Rebel Coaster ride while his sister Chloe and partner Alex sat in the front car and cruised around a loop.
When they did, however, the ride hit 26-year-old Rodden, carrying her several feet into the air before she fell.
Witnessing the moments leading up to the collision, Jordan said Wednesday he “hadn’t slept since.”
“Both my sister and partner were called to the ride beforehand, but there was only one seat and they were waiting for the next one,” he said.
“My other sister watched with me, we waited about 15 minutes because of the line before we saw her.
“While we were waiting, we saw something falling off one of the rides and didn’t know what it was. Probably 10 minutes later the ride my partner and sister were on went around.
“We saw a woman in an area where she shouldn’t be. A worker told her to go away but we couldn’t hear the whole conversation, she just told her not to be there. That person started walking away and I didn’t think much about it.”
He turned his attention back to the ride his sister and partner were on and began recording.
Then, he says, tragedy struck.
“It all happened so quickly, but so slowly. All of a sudden, I saw someone commit, but at the same time I’m like, ‘Shit, my sister, my partner.’
Footage that accidentally captured the accident shows a woman standing by the tracks of the ride.
She seems to be looking down and doesn’t see the carriage – and its occupants – yelling at her.
“She had her foot between the posts and started bending over,” Jordan said.
“From what my sister and partner told me, it looked like someone threw themselves in front of it.
“But you can see that she bent down to pick something up. I don’t know if it was a phone or what, but she was so fixated on picking it up that she didn’t even see the ride.”
When she was hit, he said, she was silent.
“I didn’t hear her scream,” he said.
“The screams I heard came from onlookers, I think. It was so quick.”
Jordan said he agreed to speak out to draw attention to the unseen aspect of the disaster — the first responders.
Within minutes of the accident, the scene was cordoned off and police and show staff were speaking to people.
Those who were still out, including Chloe and Alex, were stuck up there for just under an hour.
But workers manually moved them from the steep incline they were on to a flatter area of the track to make them more comfortable.
“They were up there for about 45 minutes — but I imagine it might have felt like hours,” Jordan said.
Police were there first, he said, offering advice and information.
“They offered advice, phone numbers and all that,” Jordan said.
“But they just let us know what happened. They were very nice, took all our statements.
“I tried to write my name under my statement and my hand was shaking. I’ve never experienced anything like this and I hope it never happens again.”
The footage he captured, which he describes as “lucky or unlucky”, has been released to police who are investigating how the accident happened.
7NEWS.com.au has chosen not to publish the full video.
It was posted earlier on social media, but not by Jordan.
Earlier this week, organizers of the Melbourne Royal Show issued a statement confirming that WorkSafe had completed inspecting the ride and given the green light to resume operations.
“The safety and well-being of our trade show visitors remains our top priority,” the statement said.
“Strict safety protocols are followed in accordance with Victorian WorkSafe regulations. All on-site rides have undergone rigorous compliance testing and passed all required safety documentation.”
But Rodden’s family said they were “sad and appalled” that the ride had reopened so soon after the incident.
Melbourne Royal Show CEO Brad Jenkins previously described it as a “tragic accident” and said his thoughts are with the young woman’s family and friends.
“It is a tragic accident and from our understanding there was a cell phone at the base of the Rebel Coaster which she dropped while riding and she went back to recover the cell phone,” he said.
“Unfortunately, she was tragically hit by the descending car.
“It’s an extreme roller coaster ride that’s generally great fun, but this was a tragic accident that shouldn’t have happened.”
He added that the operator of the ride was experienced and that the machine itself had no malfunction.
“This is a tragic accident, not a ride malfunction, so I can assure people the rides are completely safe,” he said.
https://7news.com.au/news/vic/shylah-roddens-family-considering-legal-action-against-royal-melbourne-show-and-ride-operator-after-rollercoaster-accident-c-8419617 Shylah Rodden coaster: Family considering legal action after Melbourne Royal Show incident as 26-year-old continues to recover in hospital