Mother and son describe moment ride attendant fell from chairlift at Lake Winnie

    A mother and her young son fleshed out the details of yet another accident at Lake Winnie this week. (Image: WTVC)<p>{/p}

    A mother and her young son fleshed out the details of yet another accident at Lake Winnie this week.

    Officials say a ride attendant was injured Tuesday while helping the little boy who'd hurt his hand.

    It's a Hodge Family tradition to come to Lake Winnie every summer.

    Kerri Hodge says this year's trip almost didn't happen though.

    "I definitely have had concerns about the transparency of the park and the safety," she said.

    But, when her 6-year-old son Carter got a free pass from school, they came anyways.

    Now, they have memories they wish they didn't.

    Hodge says she yelled for help when her son pinched his hand in the lap bar of the Alpine Way chairlift.

    "It feeled like it couldn't like get it out," Carter said.

    She says workers stopped the ride and an attendant came over to help her son.

    While he was doing so, the chairlift suddenly started back up.

    "The force of the chair taking off just pushed him off the couple of feet of the ledge that was available," she said.

    Carter says, "He grabbed on to our chair when he fell off."

    Hodge and her son say the attendant held on for a couple seconds before falling about 12 feet to the concrete below.

    "The memory of him holding and watching his hands slip and fall and hearing him yell, it will not leave our minds for a while," Hodge said.

    Hodge says she and her son had no choice but to finish out the ride, leaving the attendant below.

    "I just remember leaning over and looking down and seeing him laying on his side," she said.

    She says when they got off, no one employed with Lake Winnie asked them for an account of what happened.

    "They did take good care of his hand, but the rest of the incident was not spoken of," she said.

    The state says the cause of the accident is a lack of training, which is the same determination the state made in the Wild Lightning ride accident in June.

    The Hodges just feel bad for the employee involved.

    "I hope he's okay," Carter said. "Thank you for helping me."

    "He was being kind to us when it happened, and it was our chair that knocked him off. We are just praying that he is okay and that the injuries are not severe," Hodge said.

    Back in June, NewsChannel 9 told you about the fines the park had to pay for failing to report two incidents in a timely manner.

    Since then, it seems they're reporting accidents quicker.

    However, it is of note that after each incident this summer, the state came to the same conclusion that employees need more training.

    We asked Lake Winnie for a third time this summer if they've added any new instruction measures. We haven't heard back.

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