Fatal Roller Coaster Accident Provides Warning of Potential Dangers Lurking behind the Thrills


August 20, 2013

Many families spend summer days experiencing the thrills of roller coasters and other rides and attractions at amusement parks, but theme parks, amusement parks, carnivals and fairs can be filled with potential hazards that have the potential to lead to serious injury. Many people presume that there are only a handful of roller coaster accidents each year because only the most significant accidents that result in wrongful death or catastrophic injuries are widely reported by the media.

In reality, there were 10,000 roller coaster accidents during a recent one year period according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. When proper safety practices are not followed or amusement park rides are not designed or maintained properly, roller coaster accidents and other amusement park mishaps can result in traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, spinal cord injuries, dismembered limbs, internal organ injuries and even wrongful death.

A recent fatal roller coaster at a Six Flags amusement park in another state serves as a tragic reminder of the potential danger of engaging in thrill ride experiences in amusement parks around Georgia and the U.S. Witnesses to the fatal amusement park accident told the AP that the woman fell from a ride called the Texas Giant roller coaster, which the park promotes as the tallest steel-hybrid in the world. According to the AP report, a witness on the ground reported seeing the safety bar that acts as a physical restraint to keep riders inside the car release before the women plunged toward the ground.

One potential risk to those who enjoy amusement park thrill rides is that there appears to be an increasing competition to create rides that push the bar further toward more exciting experiences that may emphasize thrills over safety. The theme park ride that caused injury reached 14 stories high and included drops with an incline of 79 degrees with a bank of 95 degrees based on information provided by theme park promotional materials.

As further evidence that amusement park ride accidents are not as rare as many imagine, there was another serious accident this month in an amusement park in yet another state. A boat on another thrill ride rolled backward while moving up an incline and flipped over into the water. All of the seven riders on the boat had to be treated for their injuries according to the AP report.

There is a wide range of injuries that may be experienced by those who ride roller coasters and other thrill rides because riders may experience a G-force that can reach 4 or 5 Gs. Differences in the tolerance of the human body can mean that people suffer blood clots, hemorrhages, back injuries, spinal cord injuries, neck injuries or even fatalities. Some studies have concluded that a rider may experience brain damage similar to that experienced by infants who suffer from Shaken Baby Syndrome. Restraint systems also may fail because of a rider’s height, weight or other factors, which can leave the rider unsecured while the ride is moving at high rates of speed.

While not every amusement park accident will necessarily be the result of negligence, venues that provide thrill rides like roller coasters and other high speed rides must take reasonable care to ensure the rides are designed and manufactured safely and that they are properly maintained. When industry safety standards are disregarded, the result can be terrible tragedies like the recent Six Flags roller coaster accident. Our Georgia roller coaster accident attorneys at Montlick and Associates express our deepest condolences to the family of this tragic amusement park accident.

At Montlick and Associates, we are committed to taking affirmative steps to protect our families, friends and neighbors from avoidable accidents. Our Atlanta accident attorneys at Montlick and Associates are available to provide effective legal representation to those throughout all of Georgia, the Southeast and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state of Georgia. No matter where you are located our Atlanta personal injury attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you.

Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Personal Injury

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