Roller coaster hits and drags woman looking for phone on track, Australia fair says

Screengrab from Shylah Rodden's Facebook

A woman was seriously injured when she stepped onto the track of a roller coaster at a fair in Australia.

Shylah Rodden, 26, dropped her phone while riding a roller coaster at the Melbourne Royal Show on the evening of Sunday, Sept. 25, fair organizers told 7 News. She got off the ride and climbed onto the track to retrieve her phone, officials said.

While Rodden was on the track, a passenger-filled car came around the upside-down-loop at a speed of about 43 mph and struck her, 9 News reported. The roller coaster dragged Rodden along the track and up an incline, the outlet reported, citing a graphic video captured by a witness and posted on TikTok.

The operator stopped the ride, and Rodden fell 30 feet from the track to the ground, News.com.au and 7 News reported.

Rodden suffered life-threatening injuries to her brain and broken bones, News.com.au reported. Her condition was later upgraded from “critical” to “serious,” the outlet reported on Tuesday, Oct. 4.

The fair closed the ride for two days to inspect it, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported.

A spokesperson for the Melbourne Royal Show commented on the incident, 7 News reported, saying “this is a tragic accident, not a malfunction of a ride, so I can assure people that the rides are entirely safe… The safety and well-being of our visitors to the Show continues to be our number one priority.”

He also confirmed the details of the incident, 9 News reported.

“It’s been totally devastating and our hearts go out to the young woman that was involved in the tragic accident (as well as) her family and friends,” the spokesperson said.

Fair organizers said they are offering counseling to those who witnessed the accident, 9 News reported.

A friend of Rodden told News.com.au she is “a beautiful, bright, fun, bubbly girl who is full of life” and “sees the best in people.”

At the time of the roller coaster accident, Rodden had just recovered from a serious car crash that happened in January 2021 and another serious car crash in 2019, News.com.au reported.

The Melbourne Showgrounds are in north Melbourne.

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