Parents call for restraints after NJ Ferris wheel plunge

June 14, 2011 8:54:08 PM PDT
The parents of the 11-year-old girl who fell to her death from a Wildwood Ferris wheel broke their silence Tuesday.

Abiah Jones' parents fought back the emotions inside their lawyer's office this afternoon.

They were there pressing for new safety measures.

"We just want to make sure this doesn't happen to another child," Abiah's father Byron Jones said.

The family's attorney has launched an investigation for what appears to be a civil lawsuit in the making.

Abiah fell to her death June 3rd on a field trip for honor roll students on Morey's Pier in Wildwood.

Part of the fall was captured on camera.

"This Ferris wheel was a 156 feet high. It had no restraint system to keep them in the gondola of the Ferris wheel. If it had, Abiah would be alive today," family attorney Larry Bendesky said.

What happened and how Abiah fell is unclear.

But the family's attorney believes all Ferris wheels should have a restraint system, sort of like a seatbelt in a car or a harness system over both shoulders.

The Department of Community Affairs investigating the accident says the ride in question has operated in excess of 25 years without serious incident and no defects or malfunctions were found.

It recommends a minimum height of 54 inches for riding without a parent or guardian and a minimum of two riders per vehicle.

A statement released by Morey's Piers owners says, "The Jones' family decision to hire an attorney is their decision to make and we respect whatever decision is most appropriate for them."