I was out of the province for a good chunk of time and completely missed the Red River Ex in Winnipeg this summer. Granted, I haven’t been there since I was a kid and have no desire to go but I still feel bad I don’t even try to convince myself I would have a good time there.
I generally find stories about scuffles and stabbings and drama at the Ex to be entertaining because I hear stories from people who go every year and they say the atmosphere is getting sketchy – even more so the later at night you are there.
The story that struck me this year (though the story is two years old) is about the teenager who was paralyzed after he was hit by a roller coaster car. In case you didn’t hear: a 16 year old walked through a gap in fencing to retrieve his hat that fell off while he was on the ride. After the collision he suffered a spinal cord injury and is a quadriplegic.
Sad story, yes. But let’s look at something here: the fence is there to keep people out and to ensure safety. The kid went through a “gap” – not a clear opening that anybody would think, “Hey, I can walk through this.” If anything, he was technically trespassing into a danger zone. Nevertheless, tragedy struck and the rest is history.
As always, I like reading the comments people post with news stories because it seemed like most people had no sympathy for the boy, whose life changed just because he tried to get back a piece of property. And lots of people were critical of his actions, suggesting he should have asked an attendant to get the hat, or even removed any loose clothing as passengers are often instructed to do by employees and/or signage.
So, is it fair to blame the victim on this one? Is he even a victim? Does the family have a right to sue the Ex and North American Midway Entertainment?
Here is one of the top-rated comments from someone reading the story on a national news website: “his mom says "this incident could of (sic) been avoided" yes, it could have, if your son wasn't a moron and bypassed the fence protecting people from the ride.”
I don’t need to further illustrate my point but the other 104 comments on that page seemed to be in a consensus with that remark.