The mother of a Durham University student who died on a rollercoaster believes "lessons have not been learnt" as a six-year-old boy was airlifted to hospital after being injured on the same ride.

The young boy, who last night was in a non-life threatening condition, fell from the Twister rollercoaster at Lightwater Valley theme park, near Ripon, in North Yorkshire at 10:30am yesterday.

He was rushed to Leeds General Infirmary by Yorkshire Air Ambulance after eyewitnesses saw him fall "face down about 20/30 feet to ground".

"He mustn't have been strapped in right, or too small for ride. As it went down the fast bit towards the 'souvenir' camera he slid out and over the top of the carriage," Simon Moran, a father visiting the park yesterday, wrote on Twitter.


The incident comes after the death of 20-year-old Durham University student Gemma Savage, who was killed after two cars collided on the Twister ride in June 2001.

 Witnesses said the boy fell from the Twister rollercoaster. Photo / Getty
Witnesses said the boy fell from the Twister rollercoaster. Photo / Getty

Five years later, Mr Justice Simon ordered that the park's owners, Lightwater Valley Attractions, pay a £35,000 fine plus £40,000 costs for health and safety breaches.

Miss Savage's mother, Linda Savage, described yesterday's accident as "unbelievable".

"Lessons clearly have not been learnt. The ride was not fit for purpose 18 years ago and it is still causing problems," she told the Telegraph.

"The accident that killed Gemma devastated our family and our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the young boy who was injured yesterday," she added.

On a page that has since been taken down from the park's website, the ride was described as a "fun-packed experience for all the family".

"The track is full of seriously tight turns, giving riders the impression that they might not make it around the next corner, with the threat of plummeting into the treetops being a constant source of tension for parents (and amusement for the kids)!," the description read.

Lara-Susan James, who had just joined the queue for the rollercoaster with her children, said a group were shouting at the operator to stop the ride.


She said: "It was at that moment I realised something was wrong.

"I saw the operator apply the emergency stop. My husband pointed to the fallen kid on the ground, saying they had fallen out.

"When the ride stopped, the family jumped the barriers and went to the kid. I ushered our kids away as I don't want them to hear or see any more."