Roller Coaster Deaths and Dismemberments
Take a quick look at Americas favorite ride … to the death.
The first ride many flock to in most amusement parks is the roller coaster. With years of research and safety precautions these rides can still be very dangerous and even deadly. Injuries, deaths and dismemberments abound in the sordid past of Americas favorite ride. Many love this ride because for its speed, turns, hills, barrel rolls, loops, corkscrews and drops. Roller coaster enthusiasts demand bigger, longer and faster trips with every new roller coaster built, yet injuries and deaths abound in the amusement rides past.
Did you know?
- Roller Coasters history began in the 17th century with Russian ice slides.
- The “Aerial Walk” was the first coaster that had locking wheels on steel tracks.
- Frascati Gardens in Paris, France built the first looping roller coaster.
- In 1878 the first patent was awarded to Richard Knudson for a coaster like invention, an “Inclined Railway” system.
- In the 20’s estimates claim between 1,500 and 2,000 coasters existed during this time period, a massive figure even by today’s standards.
- The 60’s were denominated by wooden coaters.
- The late 70’s was the start of the modern loping roller coaster.
- In the 80’s stand up and suspended steel track rides began.
- The era of the 90’s honed steel track technology.
Accidents, Injuries and Deaths
- Topping the list is the worst accident recorded in roller coaster history to date. It happened on the Mind Bender in Canada. The coaster was a triple lopper indoor ride. On the last train car a wheel sheared off at high speeds and smashed into a concrete pillar killing every passenger.
- June 28th, 2008 a teenager was decapitated by a roller coaster after hopping a pair of fences entering a restricted area at Six Flags Over Georgia.
- In Santa Clara, California a 13-year-old boy was killed when he was struck from behind by another car while attempting to board the ride at Willard’s Whizzer at Marriott’s Great America.
- At Six Flags an employee of 20 years fell to his death form the Rolling Thunder Roller Coaster. The New Jersey Labor Dept. concluded after an investigation the man may not used the safety bar securing himself.
- A 20-year-old park employee fell from the Rolling Thunder roller coaster at Six Flags Great Adventure theme park in Jackson Township, New Jersey. The accident occurred during a routine test run of the trains. An investigation by the New Jersey Labor Department concluded that the man might not have secured himself with the safety bar. A park representative later confirmed this conclusion.
- In Doswell, Virginia a 13-year-old boy was killed while riding a roller coaster when an object struck his head.
- In Myrtle Beach, South Carolina a 13-year-old girl fell to her death while riding a roller coaster. She impacted a guardrail being thrown 30 feet from her car.
- I have some personal knowledge of this next roller coaster death. I was at the park when it happened. It was a Six Flags in Missouri. I was in line for the Rail Blazer, a stand up first of its kind ride. The woman who fell was a large woman; the restraints would not properly fit on her. She was whipped from the train, she just “flipped out’ the woman in the car next to her said. Needless to say, I did not go on the ride.
- As a man stood up on the Astroland Amusement Parks Cyclone roller coaster striking his head on a cross beam killing him.
- A 33-year-old man sustained a fatal head injury while leaving his safety restraint, standing up and leaning outside his car.