Family Outrage Over Rye Playland Report

Friday, November 11, 2005

The final report into the Rye Playland Accident claims that the ride called Ye Old Mill was not to blame for the death of a seven year-old boy. But that same report did find problems at the park.

Eyewitness News reporter Joe Torres is in White Plains with the story.

Elayne Cassara, the victim's mother and the family lawyer are expressing outage over a report that they say is "insulting" to the family.

This report comes three months after the death of seven year-old John Kelly Cassara on the ride at Rye Playland. The boy did not drown, but died almost instantly from a severe blow to the head. Those are just two of the major findings cited in a widely-anticipated Westchester County Police report examining exactly what happened last August on Rye Playland's Ye Old Mill ride.

Furthermore, the investigation ruled that Cassara's death was accidental, adding that staffing shortages on the ride, training issues and communication delays did not contribute to the seven year-old's death.

Cassara's mother and the family's lawyer quickly denounced the findings, calling the report "self-serving, inconsistent and incomplete."

At a late morning news conference outside the Westchester County court house, Elayne Cassara said the truth regarding her son's death has yet to be revealed.

Elayne Cassara, Victim's Mother: "One of the things that I'm hearing is that there were three witness that my son was walking around inside of that tunnel and I would like to know where these witnesses were when I was hysterically screaming for help from someone to find him or give us any indication of knowing where he was."

The county police and the Westchester County Park Department, which runs the rides at Rye Playland had a news conference this morning and they say they understand the family's concerns but then stood behind what they call the integrity of the report, saying "these findings are facts based on the medical examiner's report and interviews with eyewitnesses."

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