'It's an image I'll never forget.' Witness recounts aftermath of toddler's amusement park accident

Police confirmed that a 2-year-old was struck by a train ride in the Land of Make Believe on Saturday at 1:05 p.m.

News 12 Staff

Aug 21, 2022, 3:51 AM

Updated 600 days ago

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A park visitor recounted to News 12 New Jersey Sunday seeing a toddler after he was struck by an amusement park ride in Hope Township.
Police confirmed that a 2-year-old was struck by a train ride in the Land of Make Believe on Saturday at 1:05 p.m.
Lilly Decker is a critical care nurse who's used to dealing with adult patients. The grandmother, who's been going to the park since she was a kid, said she was traumatized by what she saw before running over to help.
"I woke up this morning crying. It's just... I don't want to think about it. It's an image I'll never forget," Decker said.
Decker was at the Land of Make Believe on Saturday afternoon when she saw a little boy run around the theme park's train tracks. She thought he'd move away when the train came, but he did not and was hit from his left side when the train stopped.
“Everyone started yelling at him, ‘back the train up,’” she recalled, but she added that the train conductor froze and must have gone into shock.
The train was too heavy to lift off the 2-year-old so it had to back up and it could not avoid hitting him again.
"Then the mother came and she just fainted on the ground, and then all the other people came, the lifeguards, and everything," Decker continued.
Decker was table to keep the boy's pulse. She said he was still conscious, crying and able to move his legs and right arm.
"I've never seen an accident there, even when I was a little kid. I never seen anything like that happen there," she said.
Police said the boy was airlifted to the hospital and that there was no immediate word on the circumstances while this is all still being investigated.
News 12 New Jersey reached out the Land of Make Believe but had not received a response as of Sunday night.


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