The family of a young woman who suffered ‘horrific’ injuries in a shocking rollercoaster incident have hit back at cruel online bullies.
Shylah Rodden, 26, remains in an intensive care unit after falling nine metres in the mysterious accident at the Royal Melbourne Show on Sunday, which remains under investigation.
The heartbreak comes as her family is still reeling from the death of her brother in July.
As Shylah’s worried loved ones rally around her hospital bed, her sister told Daily Mail Australia she was appalled at the online abuse aimed at her critically ill sister.
The beloved young Melburnian is in a coma, after suffering a broken pelvis, arms, legs and back.
‘It’s sad and disgusting to see the false stories and cover up when my sister is fighting for her life,’ Caisha said.
Shylah Rodden sustained horrific injuries in a rollercoaster accident in Melbourne on Sunday
Shylah Rodden, 26, remains in an intensive care unit after falling nine metres in the mysterious accident, which remains under investigation. Pictured: The Rebel Coaster at the Royal Melbourne Show
Shylah Rodden and her sister Caisha in happier times. Shylah is fighting for life in hospital
Online sleuths have coldly blamed Shylah for the tragedy after police claimed she had been hit while trying to retrieve her mobile phone.
‘Serves herself right for going where she is not supposed to be going,’ one man posted under a news report on the tragedy.
‘It’s not a freak accident, when she was somewhere she wasn’t supposed to be,’ another said.
Many of the comments are so cruel Daily Mail Australia has chosen not to publish them.
Caisha said the rumours being spread online are causing even greater pain to her family struggling to cope.
‘Definitely misinformation regarding the accident, which is really sad and causing more distress for our family,’ she said.
‘Shylah is in critical condition and we won’t know more until later today as we will be discussing with police and giving some eye witness statements.’
Her father, Alan Rodden, said mystery still surrounds how Shylah was hit.
‘There are a lot of stories going around and I don’t know which one is true and if someone is covering their tracks,’ he said.
Shylah Rodden had been working at the show when she apparently decided to go on the rollercoaster during a break
On Monday, police claimed Shylah was struck by the ride at the Royal Melbourne Show while trying to retrieve her mobile phone from the tracks and was hit by the ride travelling at about 70km/h.
Horrified families watched on as the chaos unfolded at The Rebel Coaster on Sunday with paramedics treating Shylah for serious facial injuries at the scene before taking her to hospital in a critical condition.
Mr Rodden said his daughter had suffered life changing injuries.
‘Obviously I can’t talk to my daughter. She’s going to be in a coma for quite a while,’ he said.
‘The injuries are horrific. Horrific. She’s brain damaged. It’s pelvic, her arms, legs, back, neck – there’s hardly a thing that’s not broken. I just can’t work out how the hell so much damage has been done.
‘Even the doctors have said they haven’t seen anything as bad as this for a long time.’
Shylah Rodden lost her brother Jason just two months before the shocking rollercoaster crash in Melbourne
The family’s anguish comes after Shylah’s brother Jason died just two months earlier.
She wrote on Facebook that her ‘world came crashing down’ when he died.
‘Dad sat me down and told me that my brother had passed away,’ Shylah wrote just weeks before her accident.
‘He wasn’t just my big brother, he was my best friend, my everything, the person I looked up to and inspired to be like.
‘He taught me so much in life, he showed me the difference between right and wrong and he was never afraid to tell me how he really feels.
‘It doesn’t feel real, I keep thinking you’ll call me back.’
Shylah Rodden (pictured) had nearly every bone in her body broken in the shocking accident
Caisha revealed that her sister had been working at the show.
‘Shylah was actually there working. She was helping out her friend at her stall for the day and she was sent on her break with another worker and they decided to go on a few rides to kill time and this happened unfortunately,’ she said.
While police maintain Shylah had been attempting to retrieve her phone, some eye witnesses claim she had been onboard the rollercoaster, which somehow dislodged her up to 9m high before she plunged to the ground.
‘She flew from the ride, loud bang. Followed by a scream and very loud crack of her hitting the ground,’ one eye witness stated on social media.
‘I was standing right next to it when it happened. Poor girl laying in a large pool of blood as medical response was so slow!’
‘My daughter was there too and they have called Crimestoppers as they felt like she had fallen from the ride too,’ another person wrote.
Passengers on the ride had been left stranded atop the rollercoaster for hours after the ride was shut down.
Others on the ride were left stranded atop the rollercoaster for some time with the ride immediately shut down
One witness, who had been positioned next to the rollercoaster, claimed police assertions she had been on the tracks were not accurate.
‘I did not see her walking or climbing on the tracks at all, we saw her flying from the ride, where she landed and how she landed is not consistent with being hit,’ a woman claimed.
‘Not from what we witnessed. We were standing right next to the ride when it happened.’
The witness had taken her young son on the ride shortly before the accident.
‘We saw her fall from the ride, (heard) the scream and the crack of her hitting the ground. My husband was one of the first on the scene. We were standing right next to it when it happened ,’ she said.
In a statement issued by Victoria Police, investigators claimed Shylah ‘may’ have walked onto the track to try and retrieve a dropped phone.
‘Sadly the woman was then found injured on the ground,’ police stated.
A spokesperson for The Royal Melbourne Show told Daily Mail Australia it was working with authorities to ascertain how the tragedy happened
One passenger alleged they were forced to carry their personal belongings with them onto the ride.
‘They made you take your belongings on the ride with you! I went on Friday and they made me take my bag and bottle of coke on it. I was freaking out that I was going to drop something,’ the woman stated.
‘You didn’t have a choice. I was on it today and had to take my sunglasses and hold on to them very tightly. They should have had lockers,’ another said.
A spokesperson for The Royal Melbourne Show told Daily Mail Australia it was working with authorities to ascertain how the tragedy happened.
Speaking to ABC Mornings host Virginia Trioli on Monday, Show CEO Brad Jenkins refused to say whether there was a fence around the ride or how high that fence was.
‘I can’t comment specifically on that particular ride,’ he said. ‘There [are] operators down at each of the rides.’
A video published on YouTube in 2021 from aboard the ride when it was at the Sydney Royal Easter Show shows a fence around the ride appearing to be no higher than 1.5m.
Mr Jenkins maintained Shylah had gone to recover her phone when she was hit.
‘From all reports she’s gone to recover her phone. It’s not a malfunction or whatever,’ he said.
He would not say exactly how she got on to the tracks.
Victoria Police and WorkSafe are investigating the incident.
Anyone who witnessed the incident is urged to contact police.