Father warns parents after son breaks both ankles at Hickory trampoline park

HICKORY, N.C. — A father said his 6-year-old son was injured at a Hickory trampoline park after he jumped onto a deflated landing zone.

Mark Loden said the boy broke his ankles on Monday afternoon at Defy Hickory.

A state amusement ride inspector said businesses like Defy Hickory are not regulated by the state of North Carolina. Parents sign paperwork that releases the business from liability if something goes wrong.

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Loden said his son jumped from a 15-foot platform to a 20-foot platform and landed on the deflated bag, breaking his ankles.

“It’s horrifying, but it makes you angry at the same time. Why was it not closed off?” Loden said. “Why was someone not over there telling kids not to be there?”

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Loden said he was helping his daughter when the boy climbed the stairs and jumped.

He said there were no workers near the platform, or caution tape warning people to avoid it.

“It blows my mind. It blows my mind,” the boy’s mother, Jessica Yeckley, said. “I freaked out. I tried to stay calm and keep dad calm as well."

“Kids are getting hurt and nobody is doing nothing about it,” Loden said.

Defy Hickory workers said they are investigating the incident.

“The safety and well-being of our visitors is a top priority, and we adhere to the strictest standards prescribed by the International Association of Trampoline Parks,” they said.

Loden said he was required to sign a waiver, and he wants to warn families they are giving up their rights to sue, even if someone dies.

“Be very careful,” Loden said. “Watch your kids. If he landed on his back, he could be paralyzed right now.”

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