Video shows frightening ride malfunction at Washington State Fair

PUYALLUP, Wash. — A frightening moment at the Washington State Fair was caught on camera and posted to social media on Friday.

One of the videos captured by Diana Johnson has already caught the eye of over half a million people on TikTok.

Johnson told KIRO 7 News that her reason for posting the moment to her social media account was to commend the fair employees who helped rescue those stuck on the ride.

“I was impressed with the work crew and how they were able to get everyone down, I was impressed with the people on the ride and how they stayed calm and didn’t panic and I was also impressed with everyone on the ground observing,” said Johnson.

Johnson was one of many watching the ordeal unfold and she says based on what she did see, “It didn’t look like anyone was in imminent danger, it didn’t look like anyone was going to fall or anything like that. I would not stick around with my kids to witness that if I thought that was going to happen.”

Back in 2019, Diana Johnson said both she and her son were evacuated off of a ride at the Washington State Fair after a small fire broke out.

Taken back by what had unfolded, she said speaking to some of the passengers on the roller coaster after their rescue this past weekend reminded her of her own experience.

She tells us that after speaking to the couple seen in her video towards the back, she learned that before the roller coaster cart got stuck, it allegedly struck the car ahead of it “at high speeds.” She describes the couple’s reaction as shocked and confused and empathizes with those feelings.

Diana says the fair is “a big part of her family’s story” and as a big fan of all the fair has to offer, she hopes moving forward more proactive protocols regarding safety will become more established and transparent with riders and its operators to avoid incidents like this in the future as this seems to be a common problem across the country.

“I think there have been a lot of different accidents not just at the Washington State Fair but at other fairs,” said Johnson.

We reached out to the Washington State Fair officials about Friday’s ride malfunction. They replied via email saying:

“The Wildcat is back up and running after an incident during opening weekend. Standard protocols were followed to get the guests safely off the ride. Riders involved were evaluated by medics. Our carnival owners are still investigating the exact cause. However, we have strict safety protocols and all our rides go through rigorous and multiple testing before we open each day. The incident occurred late Friday afternoon and was back up and running by Sunday morning. This is one ride that also gets shut down during rain. So, it might appear broke down, but it is not. As you can see in the video circulating on social media, the ride staff did an amazing job at safely getting guests off the ride.”

The Washington State Fair is open through the month of September.