The family of the woman who suffered critical injuries after being hit by a Melbourne Royal Show rollercoaster has clapped back at online trolls and those spreading “misinformation”.
The family was targeted by a string of vile online abuse after police claimed 26-year-old Shylah Rodden was attempting to grab her phone off the ground when the incident occurred.
“It’s sad and disgusting to see the false stories and cover up when my sister is fighting for her life,” her sister Caisha told the Daily Mail.
“[There is] definitely misinformation regarding the accident, which is really sad and causing more distress for our family.”
Many comments such as “serves herself right for going where she is not supposed to be going,” appeared below the Daily Mail’s article.
Shylah’s father also spoke to the publication about the extent of his daughter’s injuries and how the situation has affected their family.
“The injuries are horrific. Horrific. She’s brain damaged. Her arms, legs, back, neck — there’s hardly a thing that’s not broken,” Alan Rodden said.
“Even the doctors have said they haven’t seen anything as bad as this for a long time.”
In a statement published on Sunday, Victoria Police said “it appears at this early stage the woman, believed to be aged in her 20s, may have walked on and entered the track to try to retrieve a dropped phone before she was hit by a roller-coaster carriage about 5.45pm.
A young woman is fighting for life after she was struck by a rollercoaster at the Melbourne Royal Show.
— 9News Melbourne (@9NewsMelb) September 26, 2022
“Sadly the woman was then found injured on the ground. Detectives from the Yarra Crime Investigation Unit are attending the scene and will work with WorkSafe to establish the circumstances surrounding the incident.
“Anyone who witnessed the incident and hasn’t spoken to police is urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.”
Melbourne Royal Show organisers have also released a statement confirming an investigation was underway.
“We are working closely with the ride operator, WorkSafe Victoria and Victoria Police to investigate the issue further,” the statement said as per The Age.
“However, we can confirm that no one has fallen from the ride.
“The ride in question will be closed for the foreseeable future and updates will be made as information comes to hand.”
A stall owner told The Herald Sun passengers were stuck on the ride for several hours.
“They only got down about half an hour ago, but the screaming was so loud — I think everyone must have been really scared,” she said.
“The ride went up like normal, then there were screams, then it stopped and stayed that way for ages.”
The incident occurred on the fourth day of the Melbourne Royal Show.
It’s the first year the show has gone ahead since 2019 due to COVID-19 restrictions.