NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Half a dozen people were injured Wednesday afternoon on a water ride at Mountain Creek Waterpark in Vernon Township after something went terribly wrong.
Park officials said six tubes on a water rafting ride called “the Gawley” backed up, which prevented water from getting onto the track.
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Three hours after what she calls her brush with death on the ride, Tina Kurtenbach was still shaken. She said the foam padding that coats the ride dislodged as she took a steep drop into the mouth of a tunnel, causing her to fly off her tube and underneath the foam.
“I was trapped underneath and I was literally drowning,” Kurtenbach told CBS 2’s Amy Dardashtian. “There was water coming rushing and I wasn’t sure if there was an end.”
Five other tubers then slid into the same trap. Park officials called it a backup of tubes colliding into one another.
“I felt people on top of me. I literally saw my life flash by,” Kurtenbach said.
It all happened inside a dark tunnel at the end of the ride, where few saw what was unfolding.
“I somehow pulled myself through 20 feet of tubing and I popped out and I jumped out and I alerted the lifeguards: ‘Stop the ride! Please, stop the ride!'” Kurtenbach said.
“This was frightening for the guests involved, and we take this very seriously. We are thankful that there were no serious injuries,” Mountain Creek Resort President Bill Benneyan said in a statement.
Spokesman Bill Benneyan said the park responded in force, along with local emergency crews to rescue the riders. Five suffered minor injuries and they were taken to local hospitals.
The park shut down the ride while state officials investigated exactly what happened. Park officials said a New Jersey police officer was on the ride and helped people who were trapped.