11-Year-Old Girl's Scalping Horror Was Not Caused By Malfunction or Operator Error: Officials
Mechanical issues have reportedly been ruled out as the cause of a carnival ride scalping that left an 11-year-old Nebraska girl potentially disfigured and blinded for life.
While Elizabeth Gilreath has been sedated since suffering the minutes long ordeal Saturday after her hair became stuck in a ride's spinning mechanism at an Omaha Cinco de Mayo celebration, operator error isn't to blame, either, according to a report.
Nebraska Labor Department spokeswoman Grace Johnson told the Associated Press on Monday that investigators have no reason to believe the person operating the ride wasn't paying attention when tragedy struck on the King's Crown ride.
However, Johnson said that investigators are looking at the restraints on the ride. Lulu's long, red hair became stuck in the mechanism after she somehow slid from her seat while the ride was in motion, reports WOWT.
Lulu suffered some minutes of agony before a heroic mother managed to stop the ride.
"She was tortured," Lulu's father, Timothy Gilreath, said in an emotional press conference held at the hospital where his daughter has now undergone three surgeries.
"They don't even know if the muscles will work and if my daughter will ever see again," he said.
"At this point we are not sure if her scalp will die or stay alive," reads a GoFundMe page started to benefit Lulu. "If it does die Lulu will not be able to grow her own hair.
"Also at this time Lulu's muscles for eyes have been damaged so there is a chance that she may not be able to see again."
The proceeds from the GoFundMe page will go towards paying Lulu's medical bills, for wigs she'll need and other expenses.
On Tuesday, relatives updated the GoFundMe page to ask followers to consider donating their hair to patients in need.
"We as a family are all doing it to support our babygirl lulu," wrote Nina Wallace. "Again thank you to everyone who has prayed and is thinking about lulu."
Lulu's family offered no substantive update on her condition, saying only that she remains sedated and "is responding good to treatment" while doctors "are keeping her comfortable."