2011-08-25 / Local & State

Ride Worker At W.Va. State Fair Critically Hurt

CHARLESTON, W. Va. (AP) – A ride operator who was hit in the face by a gondola on a ride at the West Virginia State Fair is in critical condition.

Fair manager Marlene Pierson-Jolliffe confirmed the Saturday night accident but did not provide the name or age of the worker.

She tells the Charleston Gazette (http://bit.ly/pfH451) only that he works for Reithoffer Shows Inc. of Gibsonton, Fla., and that he’s at Charleston Area Medical Center.

Reithoffer concession manager Craig Nelson says it was a human error, not a mechanical failure.

He declined further comment Monday.

The 125-foot-tall ride is called The Speed. It has two arms, with a four-person gondola at the end of each.

The arms spin at 13 revolutions per minute, subjecting the rider to 31/2 times the force of gravity.

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