Ride accident woman ‘is lucky to be here’

Police incident tape closes off the Jungle River 'log flume' ride on Bridlington seafront promenade, where a lady and a 4 year old child were injured in an accident on Sunday.  Pictures by Andrew Higgins  113508a   29/08/11
Police incident tape closes off the Jungle River 'log flume' ride on Bridlington seafront promenade, where a lady and a 4 year old child were injured in an accident on Sunday. Pictures by Andrew Higgins 113508a 29/08/11

THE woman and four-year-old girl who suffered serious leg injuries in a seafront fairground ride accident in Bridlington have both been discharged from hospital.

Ann Smallwood, 58, of Wickersley, Rotherham, was released from hospital at the weekend and is recovering at home.

Ann Smallwood, log flume accident victim

Ann Smallwood, log flume accident victim

Her great niece Isabella was discharged last week.

Mrs Smallwood’s son, John, said: “They are both very lucky to be here, but they are now both doing well.”

Mrs Smallwood and Isabella had been riding the Jungle River log flume on the seafront on Sunday, August 28, when their car stopped unexpectedly on a steep descent and they were were flung out.

Both suffered serious leg injuries. Mrs Smallwood was airlifted to Hull Royal Infirmary, and Isabella was taken by ambulance.

John Smallwood, a used car dealer and director of a Rotherham scuba-diving business, said: “Mum’s injury is horrific.

“She had a five-hour operation to staple her right leg and she has had two skin grafts. She has to have two more operations for corrective surgery.

“She is now recovering and has been walking and done a bit of physiotherapy.”

But Mr Smallwood hit out at some regional and national newspaper and TV reports which wrongly claimed his mother had her leg amputated.

He said: “The reports caused great distress to the family.

“My nan suffers from heart trouble and she rang up and was in hysterics because she thought we were not telling her, when the reports were not true at all.”

Isabella had been visiting Mrs Smallwood and her husband David at their caravan in Flamborough, and had visited the fair during a day out in Bridlington.

Mrs Smallwood’s sister-in-law, Jane, and Isabella’s two-year-old brother, Harrison were also on the log flume at the time of the accident – they were riding in the car behind.

“It was a godsend that they weren’t all together, otherwise I dread to think what might have happened, with Harrison being only two,” said Mr Smallwood.

The Jungle River log flume ride, part of Bayside Amusement Park, has remained closed since the accident while an investigation is carried out by the Health and Safety Executive.

In a statement given to the Free Press, Michael Harrison, managing director of Bayside Funpark, said: “We would like to express sincere regret for the injuries suffered by the two people hurt in the accident.

“An investigation into the incident is currently underway, with which we are co-operating fully.

“Pending the outcome of this investigation, we are unable to comment further at this time, other than to re-assure our customers that health and safety at the park has always been of paramount importance to us and all of our rides are regularly subjected to rigorous, independent checks.”