grieving father describes desperate attempt to save daughter trapped in bouncy castle as it was blown away
Old Summer Grant enjoyed a family day at the Easter fair in the Essex Harlow Town Park, when the inflatable castle was blown away, the trial at crown court at Chelmsford was told.
She was rescued from inside the inflatable castle and taken to hospital where she died of injuries.
Playground worker William Thurston, 29, and wife Shelby Thurston, 26, both denied manslaughter and health and safety crimes.
Prosecutors said Thursday, on Whitecross Road in Wilburton, near Erie, Ely County, failed to ensure that the inflatable castle was \"fully anchored\" on the ground and failed to monitor weather conditions, to ensure safe use.
Xia\'s father, Lee Grant, testified in court on Tuesday that he and his two daughters, Xia and Lily, were at the fair when Lily was five.
He said the disaster happened when they first took the Walzer car and then the elastic Castle in the summer.
\"I just heard my mom screaming\" no \"and it exploded in a few seconds,\" Mr Grant said . \".
\"I just saw some sort of cable flying in the air and it exploded.
\"I remember it blowing up on some sort of RV and continuing to walk in the fields.
\"I started chasing inflatable castles on the court.
He continued: \"It was 30 to 50 feet in the air, just rolled down on the court, just rolled and rolled.
\"I think it hit a tree.
At the end of the field, it stopped when it hit the fence.
\"I can\'t find her.
I couldn\'t find the entrance to the inflatable castle because it was flat when it reached the end.
\"He said he saw someone take out the summer at the inflatable castle.
Mr. Grant said that from four o\'clock P. M. to five o\'clock P. M. on March 26, 2016, he came to the fair with his two daughters and his mother Sharon Stephens and his sister, Tasha Stephens.
He said that he first took Walzer\'s car with his daughters, and then they went to two resilient castles --by-
Side, dome and slide.
He said: \"I was told by both running guys that it was 3 in 5 to 10 minutes . \" The man is black and slim, he added.
He said both summer and Lily went to the dome first, then the slide, and then summer went back to the Dome alone, \"because she prefers that dome \".
When asked about the weather at the time, he said: \"spitting, a little windy, there is no indication that a resilient Castle is about to be blown away.
\"He said he saw another huge inflatable castle deflated when they arrived at the fair, but he thought it was caused by the time of day.
He says his daughters are visiting him in Harlow, where he lives and they live in Norwich.
The prosecution\'s Tracy Ayling QC said that a yellow weather warning was issued on March 24, 2016 and that it was still valid on the day of the incident two days later.
Ayling said a meteorologist said the highest gust in the afternoon had reached 35 to 40 miles per hour. MS.
The trial continues.
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