It was a fun day at the Kings Island Amusement Park for little Marina Collins and her family. She had ridden the Tea Cups, taken a train ride on the K.I. & Miami Railroad, and a fun splash down ride in White Water Canyon. Marina ate hot dogs and cotton candy. And her mommy bought her a pretty blue balloon that she tied around Marina’s wrist. It was turning out to be a day that kids dream about. After a long day at the park, the family walked to their car. Then Marina’s joy turned to tragedy.
Marina, curious about what would happen if she untied the balloon, found out. Within seconds the balloon went sailing into the air. Marina screamed. Her father, an ex-Navy Seal, jumped as high as he could, but it was too late. The balloon was at least 30 feet in the air at that time. “Someone call 911!” shouted another park-goer. Police and an ambulance were on the scene within minutes. “There was nothing we can do at this time. That balloon has enough helium to stay aloft for 3 or 4 days. I feel bad for the little girl. It’s a hard lesson to learn,” said Sergeant Fuller of the Mason Police Department. Marina was inconsolable at the time. She was brought to the ambulance where she was given Valium and a Juice Box.
We asked local balloon psychologist, Dr. Barbara Betters why these instances keep happening. “These balloons really have no kind of life. They get inflated with helium and chained down by a string. The truth is that these balloons will do whatever they can to escape. If they get a chance to make a break for it, they will. They are very narcissistic, very full of themselves, and think they will live forever. They don’t realize the trauma they can cause some of these children.” The deflated balloon landed on a farm 2 days later in the neighboring city of Forest Park, 12 miles away. When the balloon was asked about the incident, it said, “I just had the irresistible urge to take flight. I didn’t mean to upset the little girl. I just wanted the chance to live. But thinking about it now, I wish I could have spent some time getting to know her. Now I feel just empty inside.”