‘Oh God… it’s going to crash’: Pilot who Girl who was 13 when she filmed a plane crashing into a Ferris wheel sues the pilot and council because she now suffers ‘psychological problems’
- Paul Clarendon Cox is suing Greater Taree City Council after 2011 plane crash
- He claims he should have known location of ferris wheel ride he crashed into
- Ride had moved from previous location at the Old Bar Beach Festival in Taree
- Mr Cox crashed his ultralight plane into the ride with his son-in-law on board
- A 13-year-old girl and 10-year-old boy were also on ride at the time of the crash
- No one was injured but witness now claims she has ‘psychological problems
A girl on a Ferris wheel repeatedly screamed ‘it’s going to crash’ as she videoed a light plane which then ploughed into the ride on the NSW mid-north coast in 2011.
Amber Christine Arndell, then 13, was filming herself and her younger brother, Jessie, at the Old Bar Beach Festival when Paul Clarendon Cox crashed his Cheetah Sierra 200 into the 20 metre-high Ferris wheel.
‘Oh look, Jessie, a plane. We’re going to watch a plane. Oh god, it’s going to crash, it’s going to crash, it’s going to crash. Oh my god,’ Ms Arndell says in the video, which was shown in the NSW Supreme Court on Monday.
A thunderous bang then follows.
Paul Clarendon Cox and his son-in-law John Rowan (pictured) were not physically injured when he crashed his Cheetah Sierra 200 into the 20 metre-high Ferris wheel at Old Bar Beach Festival after taking off from Taree Airport
The plane was witnessed missing a fence by 1.5m and clipping a tree before it smashed into the ferris wheel – Amber Christine Arndell, then 13, was filming herself and her younger brother, Jessie when it collided
The boy can be heard screaming for his mother, and asks ‘Are we going to drop?’ as his sister reassures him but begs to the people below ‘Please, let us down’.
‘I feel sick, the plane’s just there, it just crashed on us,’ Ms Arndell says.
The now 21-year-old says she now suffers psychological problems and she’s suing the Greater Taree City Council as well as the pilot.
Mr Cox himself is suing the local council, claiming it was negligent in a number of ways.
Ms Arndell, now 21-year-old, (pictured left) says she now suffers psychological problems and she’s suing the Greater Taree City Council as well as the pilot – she was on the ride with her 10-year-old brother Jessie (right) and had told him to look at the plane as it veered in the direction of the ferris wheel
The pilot argues the council failed to close the airstrip when it knew, or should’ve known, the Ferris wheel’s position would be hazardous to aircraft flying in and out.
It also failed to ensure no structure was erected at the airstrip’s southern end and failed to identify that the ride’s location caused a potential obstruction, he states.
The festival, an annual event over the October long weekend, was held on land adjacent to the Old Bar Airstrip.
Mr Cox says the council owed him a duty of care and there was a foreseeable risk of a collision between an aircraft and the Ferris wheel
Mr Cox was not physically injured in the crash but suffers post-traumatic stress disorder, specific phobia and depression, according to his statement of claim, including nightmares and avoidance issues related to planes.
The document states he has additionally developed an obsessional fear of sharp objects, which at its worst leaves him ‘afraid that pens will hurt him’ or worried about injuring his fingers on the glass of his phone.
Mr Cox says the council owed him a duty of care and there was a foreseeable risk of a collision between an aircraft and the Ferris wheel.
The hearing continues before Justice Stephen Rothman.
Mr Cox is now is now suing the local council, claiming it should have known its location next to the airstrip would be hazardous for aircraft – the ride was moved from its original 2008 location