Court hearings begin in lawsuit by family of boy trapped by Stat - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Court hearings begin in lawsuit by family of boy trapped by State Fair ride

SJ suffered brain damage and is confined to a wheel chair because of the accident, the family says. SJ suffered brain damage and is confined to a wheel chair because of the accident, the family says.
CADDO PARISH, LA (KSLA) -

The family of a Shreveport boy injured while being trapped under a ride at the Louisiana State Fair in 2011 got their day in court Wednesday.

Sheldon "S.J." Lewis was four years old that November when he somehow fell below the carnival ride, leaving him critically injured and limited to a wheelchair.

A first responder to the scene, DeMarcus Peoples, said then that "pretty much all his body except for his head and shoulders was under the machine. So all we could do at that point was assist his airway and assist in his breathing."

An investigation by the Louisiana State Fire Marshal's office reveal operator error by a Lowery carnival worker led to SJ's accident. The Lewis family filed a lawsuit, naming Lowery, the State Fair and the carnival worker as defendants.

Since then, Crabtree Amusement has added extra levels of redundancy for the carnival worker to properly operate a ride, owner Pat Crabtree said in November 2012. The key that energizes each ride will be taken out every time rides are boarded or emptied. The key will always remain with the carnival worker.

Because of his injuries, SJ needs around-the-clock care. Now, a year and a half after the accident, a Caddo Parish judge will take a look at what happened that day.

Officials say arguments in the trial are expected to begin as early as June 26.

Copyright 2013 KSLA. All rights reserved.

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