Mother sues after she’s nearly strangled by zip line at toddler’s birthday
A mother is suing an adventure park after her zip line harness slipped around her neck and nearly strangled her during her son's birthday party.
Evelyn Rapier, 23, planned a birthday party for her son at Urban Air Adventure Park in Bloomingdale, Illinois. The zip line is one of the indoor park's attractions.
On 19 November, Ms Rapier reportedly geared up in a harness and took a ride on the zip line. She claims in the lawsuit that the harness provided by the park slipped up her body and wound up wrapped around her throat, effectively dragging her through the air by her neck.
"As I swung through the air with the harness choking me, I thought I was going to die," Ms Rapier told Fox23. "All I could think of was my family, friends and especially my young children watching this."
A bystander filmed the harrowing scene as Ms Rapier dangles and twists from her harness.
She laid the blame for the incident on the park and its staff.
“Thank God I was able to find the strength to pull the harness away from my neck and survive. But a lot of people, especially children would not have been able to do this,” she said in the statement. “I want to let people know this ride is dangerous and that the adventure park and its employees are careless and do not make safety a priority.”
Urban Air Adventure Park said in a statement that all of its staff members were retrained following the incident "out of an abundance of caution”.
"The safety and well-being of our guests and employees is Urban Air’s highest priority in everything we do." the statement said. "One injury is one too many, but what’s important to remember is ride safety is a shared partnership between the park and their guests and it’s essential they follow posted and verbal guidelines and instructions."
Following the incident, Ms Rapier was treated for injuries consistent with strangulation, which included a roper burn around her neck.
Ms Rapier's lawsuit claims that the adventure park did not properly maintain the ride and its equipment, and that its employees who were operating the zip line did not ensure Ms Rapier's harness was secure.
“Evelyn, her family and friends were traumatized by this. They went to Urban Air Adventure Park Bloomingdale to celebrate her young son’s birthday and it turned into a nightmare,” Ms Rapier’s attorney, Marc McCallister, said in a statement. “The owners and their employees have a responsibility and duty to maintain the equipment and rides and make sure patrons are properly strapped in. That was not done here. The carelessness and negligence were stunning.”
The lawsuit does not specific the compensation Ms Rapier will seek.