The rollercoaster that struck Victorian woman Shylah Rodden and left her with “life-changing” injuries will return to this year’s Melbourne Royal Show.
Rodden spent weeks in an induced coma after she was hit by the Rebel Rollercoaster ride on September 24 last year, with the confronting incident inadvertently captured on video by onlookers.
The 26-year-old is believed to have walked onto the track of the rollercoaster to retrieve her phone when she was struck by a moving carriage.
Witnesses reported she was thrown into the air before falling 9m to the ground, with the impact so severe she suffered critical injuries.
The ride was reopened days later, with a WorkSafe investigation into how Rodden was struck still ongoing.
This year’s show goers will be charged $15 to ride the Rebel Coaster, which promises “dips, loops, sharp bends and lots of thrills”.
All rides at the show, including the Rebel Coaster, are independently owned and operated.
A Melbourne Royal Show spokesperson told 7NEWS.com.au additional CCTV cameras had been installed across the site, particularly in the carnival precinct, to provide “greater coverage and better footage” of activity on rides.
“We once again extend our sympathy to Shylah and her family following the incident at the 2022 show,” the spokesperson said.
“We also extend our thoughts to the bystanders who witnessed the incident.
“We have continued to work with ride operators, Worksafe, independent engineers and authorities to review the safety and operations of all rides on site to ensure they are safe prior to them being opened to the public.”
‘Happened so quickly’
At the time of the accident, eyewitness Jordan told 7NEWS.com.au of the harrowing moment he saw Rodden flung into the air.
Jordan said he and his family, who were on the ride, were traumatised by the ordeal.
He said he was filming the ride while his sister and his partner were in the front carriage when it came around a loop and struck Rodden.
It left him so rattled he said he was unable to sleep for days after witnessing the accident.
“We saw a lady in an area where she shouldn’t be. A worker told her to get away but we couldn’t hear the whole conversation, she just told her not to be there. That person started to walk away and I didn’t think much of it,” he said.
“It all happened so quickly but so slowly. All of a sudden, I saw someone getting taken up but at the same time I’m thinking ‘f***, my sister, my partner.”
Rodden spent months at Royal Melbourne Hospital before she was discharged in January.
“While this indicates her condition has stabilised, the injuries she has sustained remain life-changing,” her lawyers Arnold Thomas & Becker told 7NEWS.com.au at the time.
Speaking after the incident, Melbourne Royal Show CEO Brad Jenkins described the crash as a “tragic accident” and said his thoughts were with the young woman’s family and friends.
“It is a tragic accident and from our understanding, there was a mobile phone at the base of the Rebel Coaster that she dropped on the ride and she went back to recover the mobile phone,” he said in October.
“Regrettably, she was tragically struck by the cart coming down.
“It is an extreme rollercoaster which is a lot of fun generally, but this was a tragic accident that shouldn’t have happened.”
He added that the operator of the ride was experienced and that the machine itself had not malfunctioned.
“This is a tragic accident, not a malfunction of a ride, so I can assure people that the rides are entirely safe,” he said.