• Legal action taken in Port Townsend ferris wheel accident

    By: Patranya Bhoolsuwan


    PORT TOWNSEND, Wash. - KIRO 7 discovered there's been legal action in the case of the family that fell off a Ferris wheel in Port Townsend.

    But the move didn't come from the family. Instead it's from the company that operates the ride.

    Portland-based Funtastic Traveling Shows this week said they want to get a deposition from their own employees who were operating the ride at the time of the accident.

    On May 18 a bucket on the Ferris wheel at the Rhododendron Festival tipped over with a family inside, injuring several people.

    The injured included 59-year-old Shawn Swartwood, her partner Crystal Groth and their son 7-year-old Mikhail.

    Attorney Pat Buchanan, who represents the company, said a deposition gives attorneys from both sides a chance to get information without an actual lawsuit.

    “It allows accessibility to employees that these lawyers would not have otherwise have,” Buchanan said.

    KIRO 7 also talked with Ashton Dennis, the attorney representing the family who fell off the Ferris wheel.

    He is not happy with Funtastic taking this legal move.

    “What we have is people trying to get better,” Dennis said. “And now this company is saying we want to start this right now. We just don't understand it.”

    Dennis said if people want to help the family, they can find the Swartwood/Groth account at Kitsap Credit Union.

    The Port Townsend Police Department said the investigation into the case is ongoing and no charges have been filed.

    The hearing on the deposition is set for June 23rd.

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