A Rugby mum says she warned Drayton Manor bosses four years ago about safety fears on the same ride an 11-year-old girl died on yesterday (Tuesday, May 9).
Victoria Treacy’s 10-year-old son Patrick was flung into the water when the Splash Canyon boat struck a rock as he stood up to pose for a photograph on August 15, 2013.
The 46-year-old mother-of-four was so worried about the safety risks on the ride she even wrote to bosses outlining her concerns.
Mrs Treacy blamed park bosses for failing to ensure the ride was safe, and said tragedy was an ‘accident waiting to happen’.
“I just don’t think anything has been done since Patrick fell in. I don’t think my incident has been treated seriously,” she said.
“I was shocked when I heard about that poor girl dying on the same ride.
“It brings it all back really to what could happened to Patrick, and what shouldn’t have happened yesterday had they listened to my incident seriously.
“If I had pursued more, maybe yesterday wouldn’t have happened.”
Evha Jannath, who used to go to Long Lawford Primary School, fell out of a boat on the Splash Canyon attraction during a school trip to the Staffordshire theme park yesterday.
The Leicester schoolgirl was rescued from the water and taken to hospital but pronounced dead a short time later.
Evha’s family said their ‘world was torn apart’ following her death, in a statement.
Mrs Treacy said she raised her concerns about the safety of the ride with a manager but does not believe any real action was taken.
“I just can’t help thinking that if the park managers had listened to me more that little girl would still be alive,” she said.
“In the end that tragedy was an accident waiting to happen.”
Recalling the ‘terrifying’ episode where Patrick fell into the rapids, Mrs Treacy said her son was lucky he was not killed.
“It was terrifying. He was terrified, and I was terrified as well. I was really panicked and worried about what he’d swallowed,” she said.
“That night Patrick was very sick during the evening, and was complaining of headaches as we drove to Devon for a holiday the very next day.
“When Patrick went into the water, his was the only boat that had come round at that time.
“Had there been another boat been quite close it could have crushed him, because the boats do come round in twos and threes.
“He could have gone underwater with another boat over his head and been unable to get out. Patrick was just very lucky, that day.”
Drayton Manor said it could not comment on the claims while the investigation was ongoing but urged Mrs Treacy to share her concerns with the park.