On Saturday, June 8, a 22-year-old man was seriously injured while working at the Curwood Festival Carnival in Owosso.
The man is an employee of Skerbeck Family Carnival, which provides midway carnivals for festivals around Michigan, including the popular Applefest in Fenton.
Before the Owosso carnival opened for the day, the man was working on the Fire Ball ride, which is a single circular roller coaster that goes upside down at the top. The worker reportedly slipped and hurt himself. He was rushed to Hurley Medical Center where one of his legs was amputated.
Bill Skerbeck, owner of the company, said an investigation is underway and that the ride is safe.
“It was an accident. It was not during operation. It was when he was trying to perform some maintenance. It has nothing to do with safety of the ride,” he said.
Skerbeck Family Carnival released a statement:
“During a routine safety and maintenance check on the Fire Ball, before opening on 10:30 a.m. on Saturday morning, there was an employee involved in an accident. He was taken to Hurley Medical in Flint. He is in stable condition. We continue to keep him in our thoughts and prayers. We’d also like to thank all of our employees, the Police and First Response of Owosso, and the Curwood Festival for their prompt response to [the] situation. We have no further information at this time.”
The Skerbeck Family Carnival, which has been in business for more than 150 years, starting as a circus in Europe and evolving into a carnival in the United States, has been providing thrill rides to the St. John Applefest visitors since 1996.