Teen suffers injuries from carnival ride malfunction

Credit: KWQC

ATLANTIC, Iowa (KWQC) – A carnival ride is now under investigation after a Rock Island teen was seriously hurt while riding it.

Fifteen-year-old Draven Neitzel suffered injuries along with four others after a fair ride known as “The Octopus” malfunctioned in Atlantic, Iowa last weekend.

Atlantic Police say the arms holding their car slammed to the ground and left the two injured, along with three others on the ride.

“That never would’ve crossed my mind, like I’ve heard about it happening, but I never would’ve thought it would happen to me,” Neitzel said.

It was a night that was supposed to be filled with fair food, carnival rides and lots of fun, but it took a turn for the worst shortly after Neitzel and his cousin hopped on their first ride.

“We like reached the top kind of and as we were swinging back down, we just hear a loud snap like something broke and we just remember hitting the ground and kind of skipping a couple of times,” Neitzel said.

Neitzel suffered injuries, including a sore neck and back and an air pocket between his heart and lung.

It was a scary moment for Neitzel, who was visiting family in western Iowa for the summer, and also for his mother, Jodi Huff, who was in Rock Island at the time.

“Oh my gosh, it was the worst phone call ever, it’s a phone call you don’t want to get,” Huff said. “I was scared and you know, I had to drive like three and a half hours away.”

Now, Neitzel says he’s thankful no one on the ride was hurt as bad as they could have been.

“Kids go to fairs to have fun, they shouldn’t have to worry about flying off of carnival rides,” he said.

“It’s a fair, I mean I just want people to know and I want them to be careful I don’t want to see any other kids get hurt like my son,” Huff added.

Huff is pressing charges and says the operators of the ride should have to pay for her son’s medical bills.

Jim Borwey, the manager of the Iowa Elevator, Boiler and Amusement Ride Bureau says the investigation is still ongoing.

The cause of the ride’s malfunction is still unknown.

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