Darien Lake Discussion Thread

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Re: Darien Lake Discussion Thread

Postby paiging_jen » Fri Jul 08, 2011 7:08 pm

What a horribly sad story. :cry:
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Re: Darien Lake Discussion Thread

Postby SharkTums » Fri Jul 08, 2011 7:12 pm

Ed Farmer wrote:It's been updated- he was an Iraq war vet who lost both his legs in a roadside blast.


Ugh, see, this just bothers me and makes it worse.

This was just a no win situation for anyone from the beginning and ended with a death.

Imagine the headline and news for Darien Lake if they denied the guy boarding: "Injured Iraq War Vet Denied Roller Coaster Ride" There would have been a lawsuit (if not more than one) and a PR nightmare. And now because they gave into that pressure they have the headline of "Injured Iraq War Vet Killed by Roller Coaster".

Seriously, this is just a really bad situation that bugs me on more than one level.

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Re: Darien Lake Discussion Thread

Postby beatle11 » Fri Jul 08, 2011 7:26 pm

^I agree with you, it's a PR nightmare either way. In the end though, if they had not let him on the ride, and Darien Lake was sued for that, they probably would have won on grounds of safety. Really it's just common sense. I'm definitely interested in hearing what the ride op's have to say though. They probably did just give in to the pressure.
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Re: Darien Lake Discussion Thread

Postby deathbydinn » Fri Jul 08, 2011 7:36 pm

odene497 wrote:Queue my FB news feed blowing up about NEVER RIDIN A COASTER AGAIN.


Kinda surprisingly, the comments on Darien's Facebook have been pretty understanding of the situation and not automatically assuming the ride is unsafe.
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Re: Darien Lake Discussion Thread

Postby larrygator » Fri Jul 08, 2011 7:56 pm

beatle11 wrote: I'm definitely interested in hearing what the ride op's have to say though. They probably did just give in to the pressure.



There is still no insight if the deceased was wearing long pants, which I personally expect to be the case. I don't believe it is very common for double amputees to walk around showing off their prosthetics.
Last edited by larrygator on Fri Jul 08, 2011 7:56 pm.
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Re: Darien Lake Discussion Thread

Postby Swiminn6 » Fri Jul 08, 2011 8:07 pm

This is horrible! I just heard about this on the local news at 11! I immediately got the computer and came to TPR!

I am supposed to go there on Thursday. It will be interesting to see what happens and if the guy actually had legs.

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Re: Darien Lake Discussion Thread

Postby JDo217 » Fri Jul 08, 2011 8:13 pm

I don't know why so many people are assuming he literally didn't have legs. Good to see that people aren't automatically blaming the ride for being unsafe, but just about every other comment on the facebook page is about how Darien Lake let a man with no legs get on a roller coaster

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Re: Darien Lake Discussion Thread

Postby asimowalk » Fri Jul 08, 2011 8:14 pm

Sgt. Hackemer was a double amputee, who lost his right leg below the knee and his left leg below the hip. He was at the Darien Lake with his sister and his children.

The park says the ride was traveling at about 50 miles per hour at the time Sgt. Hackemer was ejected. He was riding in the front row of the first car on the roller coaster. Investigators say nothing mechanical was wrong with the ride as far as they know. Both the safety harness and bar were checked and appeared to be working properly.

http://www.9wsyr.com/mostpopular/story/Victim-of-fatal-roller-coaster-accident/jM-zd3jWt0yhuwkx4Y1i4A.cspx

So basically all that was holding him in was one thigh?

I've heard stories of prosthetic legs flying off on rides ever since the PMK episode on coasters back in the '90s, so I can't see that helping.

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Re: Darien Lake Discussion Thread

Postby beatle11 » Fri Jul 08, 2011 8:21 pm

larrygator wrote:
beatle11 wrote: I'm definitely interested in hearing what the ride op's have to say though. They probably did just give in to the pressure.



There is still no insight if the deceased was wearing long pants, which I personally expect to be the case. I don't believe it is very common for double amputees to walk around showing off their prosthetics.



Yes, very true. However, here's the updated article : http://www.wivb.com/dpp/news/genesee/Crews-at-accident-in-Darien-Lake

DARIEN, N.Y. (WIVB) - A trip to an amusement park ended in tragedy for a decorated veteran Friday night.

News 4's George Richet says there are very few stories he knows he will never forget. One of those stories is that of Sgt. James Hackemer, the Gowanda High School graduate who lost his legs in the war in Iraq three years ago. He died twice on the battlefield that day when his heart stopped. He believes he saw heaven and hell.

Friday night, Sgt. James Hackemer got on the biggest roller coaster in western New York, and during the ride, fell off to his death.

Daniel Sommer was on the ride around 5:30 p.m. on Friday about ten seats back. In one of the first seats in the car, he watched a double amputee get in. It was Sgt. James Hackemer, who lost both legs to a roadside bomb in Iraq three years ago.

"They were helping him in, and we were on the ride, and we started to go, and we went on the first drop. We were about, probably 75 miles an hour, had to be, coming down from that drop. And on the first turn, this kid with no legs, he flies out of the car," said Sommer.

It happened on the first turn after the big drop. Did the workers know he was handicapped?

Sommer said, "Yes, they did. They knew he was handicapped. He had no legs.They were very quick about securing people in. They should be more helpful to people. They should be more secure about how the people are secured."

So far, the park isn't saying much about the death of Sgt. Hackemer.

"An adult male guest came out of the Ride of Steel roller coaster and we are saddened to report that the guest has passed away. We are currently investigating the situation with our safety experts and local authorities. Our thoughts and prayers, of course, are with the friends and family of the victim," said Darien Lake spokeswoman Linda Taylor.

The next big question is: should he have been on that roller coaster? And what roll did his having no legs have in Sgt. Hackemer falling off the ride? Darien Lake is not ready to answer that question yet. However, News 4 spoke with Sgt. Hackemer's mother and father. His mother said, "This is what he wanted to do. He wanted to live."


It sounds pretty clear that they knew he had no legs. I don't see anything there that mentions anything about prosthetic limbs either. I wonder if he didn't have any at all. I'm sure we'll know more once the investigation is complete.
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Re: Darien Lake Discussion Thread

Postby Angry_Gumball » Fri Jul 08, 2011 9:12 pm

I got the text earlier at work (Via subscribing to TPR's Facebook page) and told my coworker about it. She was from NY, and her home park was Darien Lake. She always told me how awesome the "Superman" was. She was in shock today when I told her that someone fell from it. Not so much in shock that she was saying "Oh noes I'm never riding a coaster again!" but more let down that her favorite ride was involved with a death. I told her that I'd have to look into this and see what exactly happened after, whether if it were a ride malfunction, rider malfunction (which seems to be the case from the short bit I read just now), or a weight issue with a rider. Still won't stop me from riding any Intamin coasters or rides, just like the SFKK Drop Tower incident didn't stop me from riding CGA's tower.

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