FOX13 Investigates rollercoaster safety after Collierville boy is injured

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — FOX13 Investigates is taking a hard look at rollercoaster safety after a Collierville boy fell off the Branson Coaster in Missouri over the weekend.

Shelandra Ford said her 11-year-old grandson, Aalando Perry is recovering in the ICU after spending most of the day in surgery.

RELATED: Collierville boy with visual impairment severely injured after being thrown from rollercoaster, grandmother says

She said Aalando Perry fell off the Branson Coaster Sunday and both legs were crushed and his right arm and knee broken.

“I don’t want to see this happen to anyone else’s family, if these rides aren’t secure enough for our children then they shouldn’t be available for kids to ride,” said Ford.

She said the ride attendant allowed her grandson to ride the coaster alone even though they said he had vision impairments.

“As adults, we have to take ownership and be accountable for protecting our kids at these water parks,” said Ford.

Missouri officials are investigating what happened and they said at this point, there aren’t any records of previous violations for the Branson Coaster.

But this isn’t the first time similar rides have had issues and caused accidents.

FOX13 Investigates obtained a list of accident reports from the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

These records show there were several amusement park accidents from 2019 to 2020 and last year, most of the accidents occurred on rides called “Mountain Coasters” which are very similar to the Branson Coaster.

FY - 19/20 (BELOW)
Grand Rental Station - Greeneville, TN - OTHER (TRACKLESS TRAIN)6/28/2019
Anakeesta/Gatlinburg, TN - MOUNTAIN COASTER7/5/2019
Adventureworks/Fontanel, TN - ZIP LINE10/26/2019
Just Jump Trampoline Park / Bristol, TN - TRAMPOLINE (NINJA COURSE)12/7/2020
FY - 20/21 (BELOW)
Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster/Gatlinburg, TN - MOUNTAIN COASTER3/29/2021
Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster/Pigeon Forge, TN - MOUNTAIN COASTER4/11/2021
Altitude Trampoline Park / Hermitage, TN - TRAMPOLINE (NINJA COURSE - LANE #2)5/18/2021

One accident happened on the Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster this March and another on the Smokey Mountain Alpine Coaster in April in Pigeon Forge.

Under Tennessee law, after a park ride accident occurs, ride operations are stopped immediately and the ride is inspected by a third party. The ride will remain shut down until it receives a passing score.

According to the Branson Coaster’s Facebook page, the park is temporarily closed.

Ford said she will be speaking up about ride safety in the future as her grandson starts his long, painful road to recovery

“Lots of prayers and support all you can do is pray and I’m a strong believer that God has the last say,” said Ford.