”As we were going down, it threw him into the bottom of the cart.”
No one would blame Kayson Latham if he never went on a roller coaster again. The 6-year-old was on the Mouse Trap ride at Wonderland Amusement Park in Amarillo, Texas last Friday when things nearly took a horrible turn.
Delbert Latham was riding the Mouse Trap with his son for the second time that evening as part of a school event at the amusement park. Since they had already gone through it once, the Texas resident decided to film the ride with his camera phone. About 40 seconds into the video, Kayson’s seat belt broke loose just as the coaster was making a high-speed turn. There was also a safety bar in place but the small boy quickly slipped beneath it. The look on his face says it all, as he suddenly is thrown near the bottom of the seat. But his dad acted quickly, grabbing his son tightly into his arms and saving him from a potentially lethal fall.
"As we were going down, it threw him into the bottom of the cart and that's when you see me reach over to grab him and honestly when all of that started to happen, I didn't even realize I was video-ing it anymore," Latham said in an interview with local affiliate KFDA-TV.
Latham posted the video to his Facebook page hoping to raise awareness amongst other parents about the risks of letting young children on amusement park rides—even ones that are supposedly safe. Of course, the first reaction from many viewers was that Latham should use the incident to sue the park for damages. But he noted that his son wasn’t hurt in the incident and only wants to help protect future riders.
"I just posted it on my facebook page hoping that if more awareness was out there, that maybe something else would get done. There's been people posting you should get a lawyer, that sort of thing. I'm not looking to sue them, I don't want money, that's not my intention. I just want it to be safe for people," he said in the interview.
For its part, the operators of the Wonderland Amusement Park put out a statement thanking Latham for his quick thinking and for alerting them:
“We appreciate his diligence in quickly bringing this to our attention. Wonderland immediately reached back out to Mr. Latham the evening it happened and promptly removed the back cart from the ride and ensured all other seatbelts were in proper working order. The Mouse Trap was back in full operation on Saturday. This particular ride was originally built without seatbelts, but Wonderland later added belts as an extra safety measure.”