Zip line rider sues Urban Air indoor park, saying harness slipped up to her neck

Evelyn Napier had tried zip lining on her honeymoon in Mexico and loved it.

So she thought her kids would get a kick out of seeing Mommy do it last fall at an indoor park in Bloomingdale, where her family was celebrating her daughter's 3rd birthday.

But instead, she said, they saw her desperately flailing as she was carried along the ride's track, clutching at the harness meant to be secured around her abdomen after it slipped up to her neck.

Napier said that as she struggled, "I thought about my kids. I did my very best to survive and be there for my kids and be there for my family."

Napier, who lives in Loves Park, is now suing the Urban Air Adventure Park franchise. She contends that either the harness was faulty or workers didn't properly attach it.

A representative of the business could not be reached for comment Wednesday. But the Urban Air responded to an inquiry from ABC 7 Chicago, saying that while it couldn't go into details because of the pending lawsuit, "what's important to remember is ride safety is a shared partnership between the park and their guests, and it's essential they follow posted and verbal guidelines and instructions.

"Out of an abundance of caution, all staff members were retrained after the event on November 19, 2021," the company said.

That evening, Napier was at the Urban Air Adventure Park at 140 Lake St. with about 15 to 20 people. Napier said her sister had gone ahead of her on the Sky Rider on a different harness. Her daughter was behind her, getting ready to ride.

Napier said she obeyed two workers' instructions to step into the harness and raise her arms so they could secure it, then lower her arms. She said she did not handle the harness.

"They tied it," Napier said. "They clipped it. They were in charge of all of it."

But the second she stepped off the starting platform, the harness rose to her neck, cutting off her breathing, Napier said. She managed to slip one hand underneath the strap and used her other to attempt to hoist herself up a little to relieve the pressure.

Napier suffered abrasions around her neck, according to a hospital emergency department report.

The suit, filed April 26 in DuPage County circuit court, contends two workers put her in an unsecured harness, that they failed to inspect the harness, that they failed to maintain or repair the harness, that they failed to properly assemble the harness and that they did not warn her of a faulty harness.

Napier also said the franchise wouldn't refund her the $600 she had paid for the party.

Napier is seeking an unspecified amount of money from the business and the two workers.

Evelyn Rapier shows marks on her neck from a harness on a zip line ride at an Urban Air Adventure Park in Bloomingdale. In a lawsuit filed in April, she contends the harness slipped from her abdomen to her neck. courtesy of Evelyn Rapier
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