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Sabino Canyon tram driver suspended after girl injured in fall

Posted at 2:30 PM, Aug 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-08 01:17:52-04
Christina Morey wasn't sure how the ride was going to end. Clutching her two children tightly - she feared for their lives.
 
"I've never put in a position with my children where I had no control," she said. "I didn't have the option to get off, I didn't have the option to stop. The only thing I could do was hold on."
 
She was a passenger on the Sabino Canyon Tours tram that ended up throwing a 10-year-old girl into a cactus patch. The girl suffered head and leg injuries and was taken to the hospital Saturday evening.

A woman who witnessed the tram fly by estimated it was going around 30 miles per hour - that's double the speed limit for the trams.

"We just began hearing - to me, it was metal and rumbling, and it was just a very loud racket," Lisa Lehnhardt said. "It was like a thump and a thump and a thump. But it was this rattling sound, and as it was occurring, people were screaming."

Sabino Canyon Tours owner Dan Ricketts has suspended the shuttle driver and is currently investigating the incident to see if there were any mechanical problems that could have caused the accident. He also noted this is the first time in 30 years someone was injured on the tram.

"The shuttle was going a touch too fast and it put her out that way," Ricketts said in a phone interview.

Morey and Lehnhardt explained they were very disappointed with how the company handled it, and believe new safety measures need to be put in place.

"It was amazing that as little people got hurt," Morey said. "And I think it's a gift to say it needs to be taken into consideration what safety measures need to be taken."