MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A visually impaired Tara Oaks Elementary student nearly had his legs severed in a freak accident on a roller coaster in Branson, Missouri on Sunday.
Aalando Perry, 11, got on the Branson Coaster with his brother. His grandmother said the boys tried to ride together and were told Aalando would be safe going on it alone.
“All the kids said the roller coaster stopped, and my grandson who is vision impaired got up and preceded to get off the roller coaster, and the roller coaster restarted backed up, and he fell off and got entrapped under the rails, and he was there for about an hour and a half,” said Shelandra Ford.
The Branson fire department was able to free Aalonda, and he was airlifted to an area hospital.
His grandmother said both of his legs and right arm were crushed, and doctors don’t know if they will be able to save his legs.
“They are talking about amputation,” said Ford. “He has had two surgeries so far since this morning –skin grafts, and he is going have at least six or seven more before they can even see progress. He’s heavily sedated and in a lot of pain.”
Ford, who is the Shelby County Register of Deeds, said her grandson has Marfan’s Disease and has just 15% vision in one of his eyes.
“He just learned Braille and learned how to be mobile with his cane,” Ford said.
Ford said she is thankful her grandson is still with her but believes the accident could have been prevented.
“My grandson, who is 13, explained he was visually impaired,” said Ford. “If they couldn’t both ride in the same cars together, they shouldn’t have allowed him to get on the ride, period.”
The Missouri State Fire Marshals Office is investigating the accident.
Ford said she has hired an attorney to look into the matter. She is hoping to have Aalando move to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis this week.