A child from Lantana, Florida, was injured during an annual Oktoberfest celebration at a private club on Lantana Road last Saturday night. The child, a boy of preschool age, reportedly fell 15 feet from a swing ride and was flown by helicopter to a local trauma center for treatment. The severity of his injuries is unknown.
According to news sources, the incident occurred at 10:00 p.m. on October 15 at the American German Club west of Lantana. Kurt Freiter, the president of the club, told news sources that all the amusement rides set up for the festival passed an inspection by the Bureau of Fair Rides Inspection.
The department, which is a division of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, has statewide responsibility to inspect all amusement rides. Clubs hosting annual events like the Oktoberfest must get a permit from the department before setting up rides.
The American German Club reportedly borrowed its rides from an Ohio-based company called Premium Shows of America. The owner, Steve Lisko, said that the ride which injured the boy did not malfunction and that it was the child who “just got out . . . that’s what happened.” Lisko, who has been in the amusement ride business for decades, said sometimes the unexpected happens. He has unofficially heard that the boy is okay, but he said he has no way to confirm it.
An inspector from the Bureau of Fair Rides Inspection was allegedly seen looking at the swing ride the day after the accident, but he declined to comment about the incident and referred all inquiries to the bureau.
The American German Club’s Oktoberfest celebrations went on despite the accident. The two-weekend festival celebrates German heritage and includes entertainment, themed activities, food, and beer. News sources could not find any information about the boy’s condition.