A carnival worker who witnessed the horror rollercoaster crash that left a woman fighting for life has spoken of his anguish.
Brendan Mogler was working on the Rebel Coaster rollercoaster ride at the Melbourne Royal Show in September when it collided at 70km/h with Shylah Rodden, who had walked onto the tracks to retrieve her phone.
Ms Rodden, 26, was left with life-changing injuries after being thrown nine metres into the air and only recently woke from her coma.
Fairground worker Mr Mogler said it wasn’t just Ms Rodden who was suffering in the wake of the nasty accident.
Shylah Rodden, 26, was hit by a rollercoaster at the Royal Melbourne Show and suffered critical injuries. Courtesy FacebookCarnival worker Brendan Mogler. Picture: Facebook
He said: “What about the emotional damage to all of us staff that were working on the roller coaster that day?
“After working on rides and coasters for the past 20 years, I will never work another ride again.”
Ms Rodden was said to be in a stable condition at Royal Melbourne Hospital last week, but loved ones said she was “still not out of the woods”.
A video of the incident showed Ms Rodden, who was working at the show the day of the accident, inside the safety rail of the ride before the coaster hit and dragged her.
Her relative told news.com.au the aftermath of the incident had been “tough” on the family but her mum, Kylie Rodden, was resilient.
The Rebel Coaster hit Ms Rodden at 70km/h
“It’s tough but my darling cousin Ky is a strong lady,” they said.
Following the tragedy, Chair of the Australian Institute of Health and Safety, Naomi Kemp, said Ms Rodden should not be blamed for what happened to her.
Ms Kemp said organisers behind theme park rides needed to consider the barriers and fencing which ensured members of the public couldn’t enter a prohibited space.
“We not only have to think about the safety of the ride but also the safety area around the ride that it’s operating in,” she said.
While she stressed neither Ms Rodden or the ride operators should be blamed, she hoped the incident would lead to change.
Shylah Rodden. Picture: Facebook
WorkSafe is investigating circumstances surrounding the tragedy with the assistance of detectives from the Yarra Crime Investigation Unit.
The ride was closed for a few days following the incident while compliance checks were made.
Investigations confirmed there were no technical problems with the rollercoaster.
A GoFundMe has been established to support the family through Ms Rodden’s extensive treatment, and it has raised more than $20,000.
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