VICTORVILLE (CBSLA.com) — A Navy veteran died Friday after falling 28 feet off a new attraction at the San Bernardino County Fair.
Sabrina Gordon, of Hesperia, fell Thursday night from the FreeDrop USA at the fairgrounds on 7th Street near Desert Knoll Drive in Victorville.
The 31-year-old Navy officer was recruiting at a CrossFit booth at the fair when she made a last-minute decision to go on the non-mechanical attraction, where participants jump from the top of a scaffolding-type structure onto a large air pillow.
Witnesses said when Gordon went to jump, she hesitated and plunged to the ground.
“She’s afraid of heights so I don’t know why she got on that thing,” Gordon’s father Lyle Bell said. “She was my pride and joy.”
She was airlifted to a local hospital where she died at 12:20 a.m., according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff-Coroner’s Department.
“Safety is our top priority; the ride will be closed pending a thorough investigation by the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department,” San Bernardino County Fair CEO/ General Manager Geoff Hinds said.
Bell said he plans to take legal action.
“I’ve never had heartache like this before,” he expressed.
“We’re just trying to stick together, and we’re going to try and do a lot of stuff for her family and her husband,” Gordon’s CrossFit coach Alicia Scarberry said.
FD Event Co. LLC owns and operates FreeDrop USA, which made its California debut at the fair.
“We have had over 50,000 successful jumps across multiple states during a recent 36 city tour. We are proud of our safety record and conduct thorough safety training with each of our employees as well as every participant,” the company’s owner Aspen Decker said.
Bell told CBS2 and KCAL9 what his final words were to his daughter.
“I said I loved her forever. She was my buddy,” he said.
Everyone who agrees to jump off the ride signs a waiver of liability. But Bell doesn’t care if his daughter signed the paper.
“We’ll see about that so-called waiver,” he said, “That may be something you use in the outhouse.”
On Friday evening, KCAL9’s Crystal Cruz spoke to people attending the fair and most didn’t seem worried about their personal safety on rides.
“It’s safe as long as you ride it the way your supposed to your going to be fine,” said Justin Depappa.
“Is any ride at the fair safe? I mean I don’t know. they’re all kind of rickety.” said James Wright.