As summer approaches, thousands of New York families are planning trips to theme parks and amusement parks, many of which contain thrilling roller coasters and fast-paced rides. What many parents don’t realize, however, is that they could be bringing their children directly to dangerous property. What’s worse is that the owners of these theme parks often fail to report injurious incidents.
One amusement park served as the surroundings in the death of a 3-year-old boy who was riding a roller coaster with his twin brother. Inspectors recently closed the ride for an investigation. Early reports from the inspectors show that three or more riders were previously injured on the same coaster, named the Python Pit. The attorney of an individual who previously suffered an injury on the Python Pit now has questions about the overall safety of the ride.
The boy apparently slipped through the safety restraint while he was riding the coaster, sending him toppling from his car to the floor several feet below. The boy suffered serious brain injuries which ultimately claimed his life. Police said that the boy met the height requirements of the ride.
Multiple incidents that occurred on the same coaster, dating to 2006, 2007 and 2008, were reported by park owners to the state. Another 2008 incident that left an 8-year-old girl with a broken wrist, however, was never reported. The Department of Labor maintains that park owners are required by law to report all such incidents.
The park owners said that the ride has passed inspection, though state regulations require incident reporting even when the ride has been deemed safe. Investigators are now examining several of the coasters to determine their safety.
Source: Chicago Tribune, “3 others have been hurt on roller coaster where boy died, reports say,” Robert McCoppin and Lolly Bowean, 5 April 2011