Boy tossed 70 feet in the air on fair ride

ROME, Ga. — A father says his son could have been seriously injured when a ride at a fair malfunctioned and sent him out of the ride some 70 feet in the air. WSBTV's Tom Jones learned state inspectors gave the ride the green light the day before it malfunctioned.

State inspectors came out to the Coosa Valley Fair Wednesday, looked at the Zipper, and gave it a thumbs up. Hours later 13-year-old Brayden Cooper was on the ride ... ready to have some fun when he says the door to the car he was in on the Zipper flew open. "When it started going up the cage flew open. The cage door flew open," he said.

Brayden says that was the first problem he encountered while riding the Zipper Wednesday.

After the door suddenly opened he was at the height of the ride -- when his problems got worse he says. "We were yelling 'stop.' To stop the ride and that's when my harness just came open," he said.

Brayden says the harness that was supposed to secure him came off sending him flying out of the ride.

You can see him in a picture standing on another ride.

Luckily he had the presence of mind to hold onto the harness and that kept him from falling. "It started slowing down and I came down and put my feet on the cage below," Brayden said.

"As soon as we saw the door come open we became alarmed," his father, Tony Cooper said.

Brayden's father says he saw what was going on and raced over. "At that point I immediately jumped over the fence in an attempt to try and catch him if something went wrong," he explained..

Luckily attendants stopped the ride and a fair worker rescued Brayden.

The Zipper ride is shut down for now as state inspectors and the manufacturer of the ride investigate.

State inspectors say the ride was returned to the fair in August after it has some previous issues.

The manufacturer of the ride should be on scene Friday to see what may have caused the malfunctions.

Brayden says he was more concerned about his cousin who was sitting next to him in the ride, so he wasn't afraid. "Afterwards but not while it was happening," he said.

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