OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (KFOR) – Two days after Rebecca Gillespie was injured after being hit by a falling cell phone, she returned to the hospital.
Gillespie and her family had just stepped in line for their first ride at the Oklahoma State Fair on Tuesday when a cell phone came flying out of the sky, hitting her on the head.
Video of the incident, along with photos from bystanders, caught the incident and the aftermath.
“[The phone] gashes her head open, shatters. Glass went everywhere,” said her mom, Heidi Gillespie, motioning to her head.
Rebecca Gillespie was rushed to the hospital with a deep wound and later diagnosed with a severe concussion.
Doctors told her mother that the impact was like a small missile or flying object hitting at a high rate of speed.
“They did tell her she was really lucky because it could have killed her,” Heidi Gillespie added.
The 18-year-old was sent home late Tuesday with instructions to rest and a list of symptoms to watch for in case of a problem.
On Wednesday, she was rushed back to the hospital after her boyfriend found her unconscious.
“She [was] kind of slumped over and wasn’t responding,” her mother said. “Does she have a brain bleed or is something going on or is she having a stroke? [There are] all the scenarios going through your head of what could be wrong.”
In an interview Thursday with KFOR-TV, her mom said doctors have now diagnosed her with a traumatic brain injury.
“She did not remember what day it was [and] she’s kind of lost [her senses] but they say that’s pretty normal,” she said, describing her daughter’s condition in the hospital.
State fair officials said they work hard to provide a safe environment, and whoever dropped the phone clearly didn’t follow posted rules.
“Things happen, but we’re prepared for the contingencies [and] there’s a whole list of rules and regulations based on the mechanics of the given ride,” said state fair spokesperson Scott Munz.
“The ride operator would have seen it and told [the owner] to leave it behind,” he continued.
Munz said the fair does not have any legal standing to charge the person who may be responsible for dropping the phone.
“It’s probably in the back of [Rebecca Gillespie’s] mind that this is the worst thing that’s happened at the fair because it happened to her,” Munz added, noting that the fair has around 900,000 visitors each year.
Rebecca Gillespie’s mother said while they’re concerned about a number of issues moving forward, including accountability and who could bear responsibility for impending medical bills, at the moment, they are primarily concerned about her recovery.
“We’re kind of in a waiting game,” she said. “It’s definitely going to be hard for her for a little while.”
Munz told KFOR there was a fair investigator on the case and that the family may be contacted by the ride operator if they bear any responsibility.