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New report details challenges first responders faced in Adventureland accident

Published: Jul. 9, 2021 at 8:10 AM CDT
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ALTOONA, Iowa (KCRG) - A newly released police report shows there were delays and difficulties in getting help to the family hurt in Saturday’s deadly Adventureland accident.

The Jaramillo family’s raft flipped over while riding the ‘Raging River.’

The accident killed 11-year-old Michael Jaramillo, and seriously hurt his older brother, David. A third child, Gus, was also hurt. All three children go to school in the Linn-Mar Community School District.

The first call to 911 about the emergency came in at about 7:30 p.m. on July 3.

But the police report shows it likely wasn’t an Adventureland staff who made that call, but other workers setting up for a fireworks display.

They at first thought the screams from the Raging River Ride were shrieks of fun, but then other rafts passed by and riders told the crew there was an emergency.

The fireworks workers located the overturned raft and started CPR.

The police report shows that emergency responders didn’t have easy access to the overturned raft, calling it a “remote location.”

They had to run roughly the length of a football field on uneven terrain to get to the victims, put them on stretchers and carry them all the way back to the awaiting ambulances.

The first dispatched officer on the scene couldn’t access the park at first because the gate was “closed and appeared to be secured with a heavy chain and lock.”

As the officer was trying to figure out where the emergency was in the park, he encountered three Adventureland staff, but none of them knew about the accident. They also couldn’t even point the officer to a supervisor.

The officer said he saw a raft “upside down on the south side on the inside corner in the man-made river, the water was not moving and appeared to be about two feet deep.”

The lawyer representing Adventureland released a statement:

“Access from the Adventureland front office to the Raging River ride can be accomplished in a matter of minutes with no need to open a gate. Lifesaving measures were almost immediate from workers near the accident site staging for a fireworks show.”

The GoFundMe set up for the Jaramillo family is at more than $43,000, as of Friday morning.

The most recent post on the page says Michael’s brother, David, is showing signs of improvement.

It says he can answer questions with gestures, turn his head and even raised his eyebrows and squinted his eyes.

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