A video on Facebook shows a 14-year-old from DE dangling from a stopped vehicle on a Six Flags Sky Ride in Queensbury, New York, USA Today reports. Her fall was broken by a small crowd of park workers and attendees, but she was still injured, taken to Glens Falls Hospital, then to Albany Medical Center by helicopter. He estimates that it took another five minutes after the auto stopped before she let go.
A few moments later someone shouted, "They'll catch her" as the girl dropped from the ride into the arms of the crowd below.
Howard was also briefly hospitalized for a back injury.
The girl remains in hospital.
A cellphone video of the girl falling taken by Loren Lent of Glenville, went viral overnight, and the story was picked up by media outlets including staff-written stories in the the Washington Post, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and several papers in England.
"I couldn't let that little girl die", he told the AP.More news: Martha the Neapolitan Mastiff wins world's ugliest dog contest
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"No-one wants to put himself underneath a body like that, but I couldn't stand by and watch".
"My daughter was just traumatized", he said. Once she got down, she was carried off to a golf cart, and the ride resumed, he said. "She was crying for about a half-hour after".
Park staff and investigators have inspected the ride and found that it was working properly and all safety equipment was intact at the time of the incident.
"I'll never let my family on that ride again", he said.
"There does not appear to be any malfunction of the ride, but we have closed the attraction until a thorough review can be completed", a park official said. Rebecca Wood, a spokesperson with Six Flags said the ride had been cleared to resume operation by the New York State Department of Labor.
"I'm just glad we could be there to help", Ms Winchell said.
"We are reviewing our internal procedures to ensure the safety and security of our guests and team members", park officials said.