DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Paige Gomez was trying to conquer her fear of heights when she got on the Stratosphere at the State Fair of Texas on Friday.
She went on the ride alone, while her friends waited for her on the ground below.
“As soon as I got up there it was like a power outage and we were just stuck up there,” she said. “At first I thought,’Okay, maybe it just stops for a second.”
She and 23 other riders were left dangling some 200 feet in the air as crews worked to fix an electrical problem that left the ride without power.
“I was getting really scared after an hour because I knew something was really wrong,” she said. “I was so scared it was just going to drop.”
Gomez prayed and made sure not to look down. Many of the stranded riders kept in touch with friends and family with their cell phones but Gomez had left her phone with her friends down below. Gomez’s grandfather saw news coverage of the stranded riders and called his granddaughter to see if everything was okay. Gomez’s friends answered her phone and told him she was one of the stranded passengers.
“He didn’t believe them! He thought they were joking,” she said.
Gomez tried to remain calm but said some people were “freaking out.”
After more than two hours, crews were able to manually lower the ride.
“As soon as I touched the floor I was like, ‘Thank you God!” she said.
Unfortunately, for Gomez the incident made her fear of heights even worse. She says she has no plans to get on a similar ride anytime soon but says she plans to return to the State Fair, though only for one thing.
“For the corn dogs,” she said laughing.
The ride will not re-open. The last day of the State Fair is Sunday.
Multiple malfunctions were reported on the Stratosphere ride at the Minnesota state fair this summer.