Toddler recovering after carnival ride accident at Greeley Stampede

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GREELEY, Colo. -- A 2-year-old girl is recovering after she slipped out of her seat on a carnival ride and got pinned underneath last week.

What started out as a fun day at the carnival quickly turned into some scary moments for the Montelongo family.

“I started screaming,” Tiffany Montelongo said. “A bunch of other people started screaming and some guy came from the side and jumped over the gate and grabbed her.”

Montelongo was describing what happened to her 2-year-old daughter Jazzlyn at the Greeley Stampede carnival on Thursday. The girl was getting ready to ride an attraction meant for small children in which cars follow each other in a circle, similar to a carousel.

“She had the seat belt on. But she was still able to stand up so as soon as the ride started, it jerked and she fell forward and hit the floor,” Montelongo said.

Jazzlyn tumbled over the front of the car she was riding in and that same car rolled over the top of her. She was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance where she was treated for cuts and bruises.

“The whole side of her face was scraped up and then she had tire marks all down her back, her arm and then some of her legs,” she said.

The girl will be OK, but her parents are concerned that more children might get hurt on the ride.

“I don’t know if [the seat belt] just that it wasn’t tight enough or it didn’t work,” Montelongo said. “Had that guy not grabbed her I don’t know if she would have went under another car or if they would have even stopped the ride.”

“First of all, we have an outstanding safety record. We ride thousands if not millions of customers safely every year," said Alan Cockerham, manager of Carnival Americana, which operates the carnival at the Greeley Stampede.

Cockerham said there were no defective or broken parts on the ride and that it passed safety inspections before and after the incident.

“Children are unpredictable,” he said.

Cockerham chalks the incident up to nothing more than a freak accident.

“I have had no other reports of anyone falling out of this ride,” he said.

Seat belts are required on the ride Jazzlyn was on. They are checked at least once when the ride operator does a safety inspection before starting each ride. Parents are also allowed to buckle and check seat belts before the ride begins.

Carnival Americana has agreed to pay all of Jazzlyn’s medical bills stemming from the incident.

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