Two hurt in carnival ride accident in Hinckley

10:08 PM, Jul 9, 2006   |    comments
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Two teenage girls were injured in a carnival ride accident in Hinckley Saturday and one of the girls is in critical condition. Relatives identify the girls as Erica Matrious and Breanna Larsen, both 14. They are cousins. Matrious is in critical condition at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis. Larsen is in fair condition at St. Mary's Medical Center in Duluth. She has a broken elbow, cuts and bruises, and a chipped tooth. "We didn't know what to do and we fell out," she said from her hospital bed Sunday night. "I guess I hit a bunch of carts when I went down and landed on a fence." Larsen feels spirits were watching over her. The Zipper was their favorite ride at Hinckley's annual Corn and Clover Carnival, said Tonia St. John, the girls' cousin. In past years, many of the cousins would compete to try and spin their carts the most, she said. St. John had not yet arrived at the carnival Saturday when Matrious and Larsen got on board. Authorities say, as their car started to descend, the door opened and the girls fell about 25 feet to the ground. Inspectors are now trying to figure out why the door opened. "It's a tragedy that you don't want to see repeated," said Hinckley mayor Tom Lymburner. "We're going to wait until we see what the investigation brings around before we make any judgements." Matrious was airlifted to to Hennepin County Medical Center Saturday. Relatives in Hinckley say she was "responding" after surgery, but her injuries are critical. "I'm praying for her and hope she makes it because I just started getting to know her and I still want to get to know her better," said Kim St. John, cousin of both victims. The ride does have a bar to hold riders in, but that bar is part of the door, so it cannot protect riders if the door swings open, Lymburner said. The mayor told KARE 11 he has a great deal of confidence in Magel Carnival Midways, which has run the city's carnival for years.

(Copyright 2006 by KARE 11. All Rights Reserved.)

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