There was only one place a 3-year-old girl wanted to be when she was discharged from the hospital after hitting her head on a ride at the Washington County Fair.
“She wanted to go straight back to the fair,” said Megan Leech, of Amwell Township, the girl’s mother, adding she wanted to stay at their RV parked on the fairgrounds.
The girl, Teagen Leech, hit her head on a support beam on the “Swing” ride when the ride operator attempted to fix an issue with her swing while the ride was still in motion.
Each “swing” on the ride is a basket suspended by two cables. According to Wayne Hunnell, the fair’s director, the cables may have been slightly twisted as the ride started, causing the swing to go awry.
Megan was watching as her daughter came around once and the ride operator grabbed the cables, causing Teagen’s feet to hit against the ground.
According to Megan, the operator grabbed hold of the swing again as Teagan came around again, which led to her hitting her head against a support beam.
Megan said she was “terrified” as she watched the scene unfold.
“Everyone was yelling, ‘Stop the ride,” Megan said. “All of us jumped the fence to get to our kids.”
Megan said the accident happened about 8:30 p.m. Wednesday. Teagen was still conscious after hitting her head.
Megan drove her daughter to the hospital, and she was released by 12:30 a.m.
“She’s doing pretty well. She’s back to herself,” Megan said.
According to Hunnell, there were no mechanical problems with the ride. He said the ride operator was tested for drugs or alcohol, and the test came back negative. He added that the ride will be inspected before reopening.
“He should have just stopped the ride immediately,” Hunnell said.
Megan’s other daughter, Braygen Leech, 5, was also on the ride, seated in front of her sister. Megan said Braygen was not hurt.
Megan extended her thanks to the police and EMT officials who responded to the scene. She also gave credit to the fair’s board, who she says was a “huge help,” and not deserving of any blame for what took place.
“They were willing to do anything and everything,” Megan said.