Rogers City Nautical Festival Ferris Wheel Hit in Crash Caused By Suspected Drunk Speeding Driver

"I got down here and it was just chaos," Schmidt Amusements manager Keith Schmidt said.

A festival turned frightening when a van slammed into a ferris wheel.

It was a chain reaction crash that started by a driver going more than 50 miles over the speed limit.

Police say the man was drunk and going 80 mph when he hit the parked van. 

The van then careened into the carnival ride. 

The ferris wheel crash happened at the Nautical Festival in Rogers City.

Thankfully no one was hurt.

9 & 10’s Blayke Roznowski and photojournalist Noah Jurik have more details on how the scary situation unfolded.

"He was in the middle of operating it when the van hit," a man who saw the crash Evan DeLooze said. "When the guy hit the van the van went." 

A fun night at the Nautical Festival became frightening. 

Rogers City Police say an Erie man was drunk going 80 mph when he smashed into the van that hit the ferris wheel. 

At least eight people were on the ride. 

"He heard the squealing of some tires, so he turned and that’s when everything happened," Schmidt said. "He immediately stopped the ride and shut everything off and manually hand pulled everybody off instead." 

People who saw the accident say a car was coming down Erie street, hit a van, which then ran it into the ferris wheel and that moved it at least five or six feet.

"We don’t know what his intent actually was," Schmidt said. "We were lucky to have that van here because at that moment this whole area, it was just jam packed with people. It was a busy time of the day, so he could have did a lot of damage." 

Police are calling this a miracle, saying the situation easily could have seriously injured or even killed visitors. 

"It could have been catastrophic, tragic," Rogers City Police Chief Matthew Quaine said. "Actually, were fortunate there was no injuries and I feel it’s a miracle that there were no injuries."  

The man is also facing charges for resisting arrest, but has yet to be formally charged.

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