Wake County

Raleigh girl broke foot when bungee-jumping attraction malfunctioned at NC fair

A North Raleigh family is seeking more information about why a bungee-jumping attraction malfunctioned at the N.C. State Fair last month, injuring a 12-year-old.

Brigitte Gallagher broke her foot when she came down too fast on the attraction, in which people hooked to bungee cables bounce onto a trampoline. Mike Maurer, a Raleigh lawyer representing the Gallagher family, said a cable that was supposed to slow the jumper didn’t work.

“The cable did not catch her and let her down softly,” Maurer said.

Brigitte, a seventh-grader at The Franciscan School in Raleigh, missed the trampoline and hit the ground. She has had surgery on her foot and faces additional surgeries, Maurer said.

Maurer and Brian Long, a spokesman for the state Department of Agriculture, said an investigation into the Oct. 17 incident is still being conducted by the state Department of Labor.

The Labor Department does safety checks on all fair rides and attractions. Long said the attraction, in the children’s area, was temporarily shut down after the accident, as were two other similar rides on the fairgrounds.

The attraction, owned by Pam McDonald, was contracted to Powers Great American Midways, the fair’s midway operator.

Maurer said Brigitte’s parents, Rich Gallagher and Renee Croteau, are awaiting the report and weighing litigation.