Ride stuck upside down(l), Entrance to Oaks Amusement park(c), Close up of stuck ride(r)

Tedder/Wikipedia @chrisxryan/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘Thought we were going to die’: Passenger calls out Portland amusement park after getting stuck on ride upside down

‘We still had to finish the ride.’


Amelie Allen


Twenty-eight passengers were stuck suspended in mid-air for nearly 30 minutes after a malfunction on the AtmosFEAR ride at the Oaks Amusement Park in Portland, Oregon, on Friday, June 14.

According to a statement Oaks Amusement Park posted on X (formerly Twitter), one passenger with pre-existing conditions went to the hospital for further evaluation.

The ride stopped at approximately 2:55pm that afternoon, and emergency responders arrived at 3:20pm. Maintenance showed up soon after and managed to get passengers down safely. The park was evacuated and closed for the rest of the day.

TikTok user Evie (@evie_s_y) posted a video of the incident, with overlay text stating that she was one of the 28 passengers on the ride at the time of the malfunction. In the caption, she detailed how the breakdown affected herself and other passengers.

“Multiple people threw up, we all still have a headache and are very sore,” she wrote. “We still had to finish the ride once we got out of the upside down position which was very hard on our bodies.” She finished with a disclaimer: “Never go to Oaks Park!”

In a separate post, Evie elaborated on the stress of the experience.

“I had to poke my arm out to lift my head up so blood wouldn’t rush to my head,” she wrote in a text overlay while sharing photos of the incident. “I was on the ride with 10 of my friends who thought we were going to die.”

While Oaks Amusement Park noted in its statement that its team effectively carried out its emergency response plan immediately, Evie called out the lack of communication from the employees. 

“We had no reassurance from the workers, instead we just saw them putting their head as in we were not going to make it,” she wrote.

In an email to the Daily Dot, the Oaks Amusement Park Marketing and Events Director Emily McKay said, “At this time the investigation is in its beginning stages, so we do not have additional information to offer at this time.”

Evie also claimed in the caption that the park only refunded the ride’s passengers $50. She later clarified to the Daily Dot that the $50 refund was given to all park attendees at the time. Evie went on to say that both her and her friends’ families are considering suing. Many commenters echoed this sentiment.

“Tbh sue only $50 is crazy,” one commenter urged.

@evie_s_y I was trapped with my 10 friends upside down for 26 minutes on the Atmosfear at Oaks Park in Portland, Oregon. Multiple people threw up, we all still have a headache and are very sore. We still had to finish the ride once we got out of the ipside down position which was very hard on our bodies. Never go to Oaks Park! @ace #fyp #oakspark #portlandoregon ♬ original sound – evie_s_y

A top comment from The TikTok Attorney (@ugolord) agreed that she could have a potential case. “Gosh, I’m so sorry his happened,” he wrote. “Absolutely you should all sue. No doubt about it.” He finished by offering his services in the event that she did decide to take action.

Another TikTok user who was at the park during the incident, Chris Ryan (@chrisxryan), posted a series of videos documenting the situation from just a few minutes after the malfunction until the paramedics arrived. 

In his final video about the incident, Ryan gives a statement similar to the one released by Oaks Amusement Park themselves; he confirms that the ride was stuck upside down for around 30 minutes, that one person with pre-existing conditions left with medical staff, and that anyone present qualified for refunds or a rebooking.

 “My wife and I and some friends were there for my birthday, that was a crazy thing to see,” he concludes in the clip. “I can only imagine how scary and traumatizing that would have been for the people that were actually stuck up there.”

@chrisxryan The ride got stuck and everyone is suspeneded upside down. This is terrfying. They just to close the park #scaryride #oakspark ♬ original sound – Chris Ryan

Are theme park rides safe?

While it is difficult to assess how often rides at individual theme parks malfunction, it may comfort readers to know that the likelihood of serious injury is fairly minimal.

According to a report by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA), there were 1,390 total reported injuries on rides in fixed-site theme parks in 2022, and only 259 of them (19%) were deemed “serious.” 55% of the reported injuries were due to motion sickness, and 26% happened while entering or exiting the rides. 

To put these statistics in perspective, Disney’s Magic Kingdom park had 17.13 million visitors in 2022 alone. The IAAPA notes on its website that “the chances of being seriously injured on a fixed-site ride at a U.S. amusement park is 1 in 15.5 million rides taken.”

Can you sue a theme park for a malfunction?

According to Orlando-based law firm Bogin, Munns & Munns, amusement parks can be liable for injuries suffered on their premises, provided the park’s negligence can be proven. 

The firm provides a few examples of negligence that might lead to a case: exposing the public to dangerous attractions, hiring unqualified employees or failing to train employees correctly, having exposed tripping hazards, and not warning customers of potential risks. 

Nolo Law’s legal encyclopedia also adds that there is a chance customers can hold the company that manufactured the ride itself legally liable if they can prove that defective design or make led to injury.

Should any of these types of negligence be proven, there is a chance the park will have to cover medical costs and other damages that occur as a result of the injury.

In a TikTok direct message with the Daily Dot, Evie said she and her family are currently unsure how they’re going to proceed, but they’re “open to all options.”

The Daily Dot reached out to Chris Ryan via TikTok and Instagram DM.

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