Community mourns 10-year-old girl killed in amusement ride accident

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The Cumberland County community is mourning a 10-year-old girl who was killed in an amusement ride accident at a local fair.

A memorial has been set up outside the Dollar General just down the street from the Deerfield Township Harvest Festival. Balloons and flowers have been left for the girl, identified by authorities as Hailey McMullen.

“It’s kind of a little place where they can come to just have an outlet, to put a balloon up and show their love for Hailey,” says Dollar General assistant manager Kyrstal Defeo.

The incident happened Saturday night at the fair. Skelly’s Amusement, the company that owns and operates the rides, says that the girl was ejected from the X-Treme ride, which they describe as a spinning ride where people are seated with a lap bar across their legs.

The girl was flown to Cooper Hospital in Camden but died from her injuries.

The incident is now under investigation.

RELATED: Police: 10-year-old girl dies after being ejected from festival ride in Deerfield 

"We're just looking for some kind of understanding of what went wrong,” says Skelly’s Amusement concession manager Rick Marchione. “We don't really know at this point. The Department of Community Affairs for New Jersey has been out here, inspectors have been out here, to investigate."

The Department of Community Affairs oversees the inspection of amusement rides before they can open. Skelly's Amusement says that the department was there at the beginning of the fair and cleared the ride to open. The rides are checked daily by staff.

"The ride was inspected that morning by us, by our documentation and our inspection sheets, so they are all done daily,” says Marchione.

Marchione says that everyone sends their condolences to the family of the victim.

“We can only feel because we are parents, uncles, aunts, grandparents. We just were eaten up inside and we can only imagine what they're going through at this point,” he says.

Marchione says that this was their last fair of the season. The ride will be packed up and taken back to their facility. They're waiting for feedback from the state and manufacturer to see if the ride can stay in operation.

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