The failure of a Storybook Land ride that derailed earlier this week was not detectable through daily inspections, amusement park owners said Thursday in a written letter.

Independent tests by a company hired by the Egg Harbor Township amusement park have shown that the incident was caused by the failure of an internal steel component. Although the ride could be repaired, the Fricano family, which owns the park, has decided that the ride will be removed at the conclusion of all testing.

"We simply can't be sure about the precise cause of the failure and will not risk the safety of our patrons when we cannot be 100 percent certain that the ride can be made completely safe," the letter stated.

The state Department of Community Affairs is investigating the accident. The results of the state investigation have not been released.

The Big Truck Ride derailed Sunday, sending two adults and a child to the hospital for treatment of minor injuries. A cart was about to make a right turn and landed on its right side. The riders fell about two and a half feet to the ground, police said.

Injured were Vineland residents Mary Lorito, 56, and Renee Lorito, 26, and a 1-year-old boy from Pine Hill.

The Big Truck Ride was installed at the park in 1988 and has passed annual state inspections. The ride never has failed any inspection, and the owners were not aware of any issue with the ride component that failed, park officials said.

The May 8 incident was "the first significant mechanical failure of a ride" since the park opened in 1995, the owners said.

Contact Jennifer Bogdan


Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

PLEASE BE ADVISED: Soon we will no longer integrate with Facebook for story comments. The commenting option is not going away, however, readers will need to register for a FREE site account to continue sharing their thoughts and feedback on stories. If you already have an account (i.e. current subscribers, posting in obituary guestbooks, for submitting community events), you may use that login, otherwise, you will be prompted to create a new account.

Load comments