Most people enjoy going on carnival rides at amusement parks. This little girl was no different, but one such ride nearly cost Lulu her life.
Eleven-year-old Elizabeth Gilreath from Omaha, also known as Lulu to her loved ones, went on the King's Crown ride on May 7, 2016. She was with her mother, Virginia Cooksey, and her best friend, Aushanay Allen.
As reported by Newsner, Gilreath's hair got stuck in the machinery while the ride was in motion. It took five to ten minutes to stop the ride, and by the time it was over, her hair and scalp were ripped off.
An eyewitness, Jolene Cisneros, said the ride was still spinning despite the Gilreath's screams. She had to stop it with her hands and turned it, so Gilreath faced the platform, according to Daily Mail.
11-year-old Elizabeth Gilreath was at an amusement park in 2016, when an accident on a ride resulted in her hair becoming caught in the machinery. The machine slowly scalped her. Thankfully, she survived the horrifying ordeal. pic.twitter.com/IiNWJ2aUb7— SERIOUSLY STRANGE (@SeriousStrange) December 20, 2017
Gilreath was covered in blood and lost consciousness soon after they freed her, and her mother was terrified that Gilreath would succumb from her wounds.
The 11-year-old was rushed to the hospital where she bravely fought to stay alive. Her wounds were treated, and she was in the intensive care unit for more than a month.
She had a fractured skull and needed skin transplants. Gilreath had received several skin grafts since the accident, and doctors were also worried that she would never regain her sight.
According to her mother, Gilreath did regain her eyesight, even though she sustained damage to her left eyelid. Both Gilreath and Cooksey now advocate for stricter laws regarding carnival rides.
Poor baby😫💔— Elizabeth (@ElizabethhC0) December 21, 2017
So heartbreakinh to see something bad happen to kids but glad she is doing much better— BODYBAG4U85 (@Brandon93547243) December 20, 2017
'Our whole goal is to raise awareness for better safety laws and better rules and regulations for not only my children but for other children.'
Virginia Cooksey, Daily Mail, June 7, 2016.
After her accident, an investigation was done to determine if her injuries were due to negligence. The Department of Labor received a statement saying the operator wasn't at fault.
The investigators also found that no portion of the ride failed or malfunctioned. Still, Gilreath's parents feel that the law needs to change, as carnival rides are only checked once a year.