HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – A day of fast fun came to a screeching halt.
“I was devastated for her,” says David Kwartler, attorney with Kwartler Manus, LLC.
In early June, twenty-one-year-old Emily Gomes of Bronx, New York was spending a summer day in the Poconos when she and a few friends stopped at ‘S&S Speedways’, an indoor go-kart facility in Snydersville.
“And, unfortunately, her hair got tangled in the moving parts of the go-kart,” says Jason Manus, attorney with Kwartler Manus, LLC.
Emily’s attorneys say her hair and scalp were ripped off, leaving her skull exposed. (Images in the attached video may be disturbing to some viewers).
“It’s obviously very traumatic for her. Shes a young, pretty girl,” Manus adds.
Firefighters say it was one of the most horrific scenes they’ve ever responded to. Emily was flown to the hospital.
“She has now gone through several different surgical procedures,” Manus explains.
The goal is to reshape Emily’s head. Doctors aren’t sure if her hair will grow back.
“So, you might be looking at someone who is in her early twenties buying wigs the rest of her life,” Kwartler says,
Emily’s attorneys say she was given little to no instruction before her ride. They believe the go-kart and its exposed parts didn’t meet certain safety codes.
“They haven’t reached out to us, after multiple letters,” Kwartler says.
The attorneys are now working to determine if ‘S&S Speedways’ has insurance. They also want to make sure the go-kart was preserved in its original condition after the accident.
“So then we can have our experts evaluate it as it was then,” Kwartler explains.
Emily has a long road to recovery but a positive attitude is helping her get by.
Eyewitness News had an interview scheduled with ‘S&S Speedways’ but five hours before, owners said they were cancelling on the advice of their attorney.
After Emily’s accident, the Department of Agriculture shut the facility down for three weeks. Owners say during that time safety enhancements were made to the karts.
The owners call this a ‘freak accident’ and say this is the first time something like this has happened in their twenty-plus years of business.
In her lawsuit, Emily is suing ‘S&S Speedways’ for damages in excess of $50,000 dollars. Emily’s attorneys say so far, her surgeries have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.