A 32 year-old man has died two days after he was spotted hanging off the safety bar of a cable car ride before plunging 50 feet to the ground in front of horrified families.
Farmington, Utah police announced the unidentified parkgoer’s death on Monday, just two days after he was filmed hanging from the safety bar of his seat on the Sky Ride at Lagoon Amusement Park.
He was seen dangling from the car – while facing in towards it – as it crossed above a fountain surrounded by people, many of whom stopped and pointed up at the man.
He did not, however, appear to be struggling to get back on the ride, and instead appeared calm as the seat he was dangling from passed by the camera.
Cops say the man was in the park with his family at the time, although he was riding the cable car alone.
His family has reportedly asked authorities not to release his name, according to Local 12 News.
Mystery surrounds how the man ended up over the side of the ride, and whether he let go of the bar deliberately, or fell after being unable to climb back in. An investigation is ongoing.
Just a few minutes later, though, shortly before 6 p.m., police said, they received multiple calls that the man had fallen from the ride, which transports guests from one side of the park to the other.
Officers and paramedics promptly arrived on the scene to render medical aid, they said, before ultimately deciding to airlift the man to the University of Utah hospital, where he was listed in critical condition.
A man was filmed hanging from the Sky Ride at Lagoon Amusement Park in Utah Saturday night, appearing calm as he did not appear to make any effort to get back into the chair. But just a few minutes later, police said, he plummeted 50 feet to the ground
Horrified families looked on as he passed by on the Sky Ride
Both police and Lagoon officials said it did not appear the ride malfunctioned, and an investigation into the man’s death is underway as questions remain about the incident.
The horrific death has spurred multiple theories and claims on social media, although police have refused to comment on them, and said their investigation is ongoing.
Authorities noted a toxicology tests will be conducted as part of an autopsy.
They have also said it does not appear his fall was intentional.
‘We don’t know why he did that or what was going on,’ Farmington Police Chief Wayne Hansen told KSL. ‘We just don’t know.’
Police said the man was at the park with his family, but was on the ride alone.
They said they have checked the safety bar on the seat he was in.
‘That’s part of what we checked and it was functioning as it should,’ Hansen told the Standard-Examiner. ‘It would appear he did something to get around that.’
All of the rides are checked everyday and have safety information ‘either printed or said verbally,’ Adam Leishman, a spokesman for Lagoon, told Fox 13, adding in a statement to the Standard-Examiner: ‘Our hearts go out to that man’s family and friends, and our guests and our employees that witnessed the incident.’
Lagoon officials are cooperating with the investigation, noting that the Sky Ride has operated without incident since it was first installed in 1974
One such witness was Lucy Grace Astilla, who took the horrific video while she was panning around the park with her camera.
‘My husband noticed there’s a guy hanging on that ride,’ she told Fox 13.
She could be heard in the video asking: ‘Why is he doing it like that?’
At first, she said she assumed he was a gymnast or it was done as a stunt, but when she learned the truth, she said she could not sleep.
The Sky Ride has operated without incident since it was first installed at the park in 1974, Leishman noted.
The man’s death was the first one at the park since the 1980s, when two separate fatal incidents saw a teenage girl fall to her death from a roller coaster, while a toddler was crushed on the Puff the Magic Dragon ride, according to the Standard-Examiner.