Young Nebraska Girl Recovering After Hair Caught in Carnival Ride

iStock/Thinkstock(OMAHA, Neb.) -- An 11-year-old girl from Nebraska is in intensive care after a freak accident on a carnival ride Saturday.

Officials are trying to determine whether an attraction called "The King's Crown" malfunctioned or if it was an accident that Elizabeth Gilreath's long red hair became tangled in the ride.

Passengers, including other children sitting with her, watched the incident happen and desperately yelled for help. Jolene, a mother at the Cinco de Mayo carnival who helped stop the ride, said there was "absolutely terror in their eyes, and some were screaming and crying."

Elizabeth is expected to survive the accident, but she remains in intensive care at Nebraska Medicine with severe head injuries as her mother remains by her side.

"We're all praying for her, and we love her, and we want her to get better," her mother said over the phone.

The company that operated the attraction sent a statement to ABC News on Sunday night: "An accident occurred on Saturday, May 7th, at the Cinco De Mayo Festival, in Omaha, Nebraska.  A young girl was injured while on the King’s Crown ride.  Thomas D. Thomas Shows values the safety and health of our guests above all else, and we are saddened by this accident. At this time, an investigation is underway.  The thoughts and prayers of everyone at Thomas D. Thomas Shows are with the young girl and her family during this extremely difficult time."

Although this accident comes just a week after two teens were thrown from a carnival ride called "The Sizzler" in El Paso, Texas, experts tell ABC News traveling rides are still generally safe.


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