A young mother of two has filed a lawsuit against the Urban Air adventure park in Bloomingdale after video captured her harness coming loose while she was on a zip line ride, choking her as she was suspended in the air.
Evelyn Rapier said her time at the park last November started out fun as her family celebrated her 3-year-old's birthday party, but video captured the moment things took a turn as Rapier decided to try out the Sky Rider zip line ride.
"It was strapped up here, which I had no idea, and ended up choking me," she said. "In the video you can see me grabbing the rope and pulling on it and I knew that wasn’t working."
Rapier said she feared for her life, but ultimately managed to hold herself up with hand to keep from choking.
“As I swung through the air with the harness choking me, I thought I was going to die," Rapier said. "All I could think of was my family, friends and especially my young children watching this. Thank God I was able to find the strength to pull the harness away from my neck and survive. But a lot of people, especially children would not have been able to do this. I want to let people know this ride is dangerous and that the adventure park and its employees are careless and do not make safety a priority.”
She left the incident with a bruised neck, she said in her suit, which alleges negligence by the park.
"I think we want to make sure that people are aware of the risks, but also the owners and operators of these facilities are making sure that people working there are trained and they also appreciate the risks that their customers faced," said her attorney Marc McCallister.
Urban Air said in a statement that the "safety and well-being of our guests and employees is Urban Air’s highest priority in everything we do."
"One injury is one too many, but what’s important to remember is ride safety is a shared partnership between the park and their guests and it’s essential they follow posted and verbal guidelines and instructions," the park said. "Out of an abundance of caution, all staff members were retrained after the event on November 19, 2021."
Represented by Cavanagh Law Group, Rapier filed a two-count lawsuit in the Circuit Court of DuPage County against Urban Air Adventure Park Bloomingdale and two of its employees who were operating the Sky Ride Zip Line.
The lawsuit alleges the park did not maintain the ride or equipment properly and alleged employees did not strap Rapier in properly or check the ride to make sure it was operating safely. Rapier's attorneys said she did not sign a waiver/release that day.