Crystal Springs Resort, the owner and managing operator of the Mountain Creek Waterpark in Vernon, is likely concerned with issues relating to both premises liability and product liability in the aftermath of an accident that occurred at the park in mid-summer.
That incident sent five people to a local hospital. Absent the forceful and resolute efforts of an off-duty officer from the Bergen County Sheriff's Department who just happened to be visiting the resort, the outcome could easily have been far more adverse.
Hard questions are undoubtedly being posed to the manufacturer of "The Gauley" waterslide following the near-tragic event that occurred on July 25 when a vinyl liner inside a tunnel on the slide burst and began trapping people underneath it, creating an immediate and rapidly escalating mass-drowning risk.
Officer Liam Flatley was on the slide and observed the growing chaos when he went through the tunnel. After he emerged, he immediately notified a lifeguard of the danger. The two reentered the tunnel, cut the lining open and freed people that were stuck beneath it.
In total, 11 persons were freed, with the scene being described as "lumps of people trapped under the liner." At one point during the rescue, Flatley also ran to the end of the tunnel and ordered that the water valves to the ride be shut off.
Following its investigation of the matter, the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs issued a report in which Flatley was recognized for forcefully taking control of a situation that could have ended far differently than it did.
If you or a member of your family has been injured by a dangerous or defective product, please contact Breslin & Breslin for a free consultation.
Source: The Star-Ledger - NJ.com, "Off-duty Bergen County Sheriff's officer credited with saving patrons during Mountain Creek water slide incident," S.P. Sullivan, Aug. 24, 2012
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