FARMINGTON, Utah, Aug. 16, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — A man who fell or jumped an estimated 50 feet from Lagoon’s Sky Ride Saturday has died.
Farmington Police Chief Wayne Hansen says his office was notified Monday morning that the 32-year-old man has died from injuries suffered in the fall. The victim’s name has not been released.
For Lucy Grace Astilla, it’s a personal story that has replayed in her head countless times since she took her first-ever ride on the Sky Ride. As the seat she and her husband were in moved slowly northward, she passed the southbound chair of the victim, who was hanging by his hands from the lap safety bar and facing backward.
“I thought it was a stunt, or he is a gymnast practicing for American Ninja Warrior, rehearsing, but then I noticed he didn’t have any equipment that would save him from a fall,” Astilla said.
Her car traveled slowly toward the operator, and Astilla called out, “and I said ‘Hello, can you, can you please stop the ride? Someone is hanging down.’ And that’s the time we heard screaming from other people, but we were by the roller coaster, so I think maybe it was for that, but it wasn’t. The screaming was because the man fell.”
Astilla said she walked toward the scene, and a large crowd gathered to try and help the man. First responders were on the scene almost immediately, she said.
“People called 911. It was all so quick.”
The man was critically injured, and his survival was in question from the start. Astilla said she and her husband moved on, but she hasn’t stopped thinking of the incident since.
“From that time, I have had no good sleep,” she said. “I’m still having a traumatic experience, but I think I can manage.”
Then Astilla said she saw a news report saying the ride had malfunctioned, which she knew was not the case. That’s when she decided to share her video with reporters. A still from that video is shared above.
“I didn’t think that was fair, and I just wanted to prove to them that there’s no malfunction,” she said.
Astilla said she didn’t want Lagoon blamed for the man’s behavior. She does wonder if he had not been alone in the car, if a friend would have been able to save him, she said. She wonders if there was anything that could have prevented his actions.
Astilla also said she feels bad for everyone below, especially children, who were out for a carefree day at the amusement park and ended up witnessing a bloody incident, which has now turned fatal.
It was a tragic incident, Astilla said, “but I wanted people to know what really happened.”