JACKSON — Twelve-year-old Allen Jurakulov hadn’t been to Six Flags Great Adventure amusement park in two years because of the pandemic.
When he arrived on July 14 with his mom, older brother, his friend and his friend’s mom, he went straight to The Joker roller coaster.
“He was very excited because there were no lines,” his mom, Anna Jurakulov said. “That was actually the first ride he went on when we got to the park.”
It was also the last that day.
Allen tried to get on The Joker when the Staten Island family went there in 2019, but he backed off.
This time, he faced down his fears with his friend from school at his side.
But five minutes after the two boys ran for the ride, a man who was on The Joker right in front of Allen came running over to the two women, asking if they were the mothers of the two boys.
“There was an accident,’” Anna Jurakulov recalled the man telling them. “It was super scary because I didn’t know what was going on.”
When they got to The Joker, Allen was holding his head in his hands. He was bleeding from a cut on the back of his head. The friend, and apparently all the other riders, were uninjured.
And shortly after, Anna Jurakulov was sitting in an ambulance holding Allen’s hand, heading to CentraState Medical Center in Freehold Township.
How Allen was injured remains a mystery.
Six Flags last week would not comment on the cause of the injury or the child’s condition.
DCA staff and park officials inspected The Joker July 14 and concluded that it was in “proper working order,” said Kristin Fitzgerald, Great Adventure spokesperson.
Lisa Ryan, spokesperson for the state Department of Community Affairs, said the department inspector who examined The Joker “did not find any sharp edges, bolts or worn padding on the ride seating on the train in question that would have caused a head injury and the train was put back in service.”
Asked whether the park made any other effort to find out how the boy was injured, Fitzgerald would only say, “We are unable to speculate as to the cause of the reported injury.” The DCA did not immediately respond.
A report from CentraState Medical Center shows Allen was treated for a laceration to the scalp.
Six Flags Log Flume accident: video shows broken railing
Anna Jurakulov has tried to reach park officials, but by Tuesday no one had returned her calls, she said.
She has tried to piece together what happened.
“They just went on the ride – nothing unusual,” Anna Jurakulov said. “When the ride stopped, the friend said Allen told him that he felt something and when they looked down they saw all this blood.”
Her son told her all he remembers is hitting his chin and biting his tongue then being thrown back several times, his head bouncing against the padding.
She said the ride’s restraints were secure.
“He’s really skinny so he may have been moving too much,” she said.
Allen didn’t know if he lost consciousness. He suffered from a headache for the next two days, although it had diminished on Friday, she said.
Anna Jurakulov said she is still trying to wrap her mind around the quick turn of events.
They had just gotten their season passes when they went to the park that Wednesday.
“There was extreme excitement, then all of a sudden, there was like a shock,” Anna Jurakulov said. “It was a very short trip.”
Ken Serrano has covered crime, breaking news, investigations and local issues in New Jersey for more than 20 years. Reach him at 732-643-4029 or [email protected]
Source: Asbury Park