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Six Flags Darien Lake (SFDL) Discussion Thread


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This story hit the local news tonight. Mom called, was all "did you hear someone fell out of a coaster in NY today?" Yes mom, that was last night. Her reaction, they should install handicap seating on coasters.... *facepalm*

 

Ummmm- not a facepalm. I for one think there should be some sort of seating on -every- major ride for people with disabilites/challenges. It doesn't have to be always used as such- but a seat that could be easily, quickly and safely modified for guests who need additional restraints (Amputees) or who can't easily get into/out of a seat.

 

Being handicapped myself, I find that a few rides DO have adaptations for getting into/out of seats- and differently built restraints. Volcano:TBC for example, has one seat on each train where the side-bar for the leg can be lowered out of place- making it easier for me (and others, I'm sure) to get onto/off of the ride. There are two restraints- on the side and in front, to prevent any problems along the way.

 

While I don't stand there and scream EVERY ride should be handicapped accessible (It's simply NOT practical, even if well designed) it should be a consideration for all rides. I'm not going to cry if a park has a ride I can't go on due to the seats/restraints- nor will I force a park to let me on if I can't ride.

 

I completely agree with you on providing adaptations for seats. My sister has down syndrome and is short, heavy, and not exactly a jumper. It can be quite the task helping her get into a B&M Invert. I really feel that amusement parks need to do a better job of considering those with handicaps, and design their parks with these people in mind.

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The family of the kid decapitated by Georgia's Batman took it pretty well early on too - still filed suit. I hope the courts find the guy at least somewhat negligent as well - though it sounds like the ride operators will be the ones who get most of the blame, I'd like for people to realize they have to be responsible for themselves to some extent as well. Dude has no legs, unless they were blown off Thursday, I'd like to think he knows his limitations by now. What a terrible situation.

 

And Ed Markey, go fuck yourself.

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When I think of theme parks I think of "young" active people that don't have flaws like no legs, down syndrome, ADD/ADHD (due to Lines). I don't mind parks opening up rides and such to the handicapped populous. But at some point a line has to be drawn of whats acceptable and whats not.

 

For instance this guy should not of been on the ride at all with two missing legs. Like SharkTums said the park is pretty much screwed no matter what they did. That guy likely would of been pissed if he couldn't ride despite knowing of his legs condition. If I was a ride OP there I would of told him no way if I knew he din't have real legs. Which I know is near impossible to tell if he had pants and socks, shoes on. Which i'm betting he did.

 

Just seems like a court case would of been easier if they denied him the ability to ride. Either way this is just something that should not of happened, period.

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Sadly, amusement parks are a business whose main customers are the GP. That being said, they will most likely listen to their concerns and I won't be surprised if they respond with some sort of physical safety change to the ride even though it is not needed. I've come to accept how much influence an uneducated GP can have on the amusement park industry. They built the rides primarily to satisfy them, not the 1% of people like us. If physical safety changes erase their concerns and keep them quiet, then that is what they will do. Sigh... like many others, I too prefer lap bars over OTSR's.

 

I'm glad to see that his family is taking it well. He died doing something he loved, a beautiful tragedy.

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The family is taking it way to well. How come, no one has mentioned posible suicide? That type of restaint only holds your waist, if you're top heavy with no legs, to lock you in, I'd say for sure, you have a real good chance of coming out.

 

I was thinking in a similar fashion.

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The first video made me so glad that the family was understanding, and it actually gave me chills.

 

The second video....WOW. Mood ruined. Stupid, typical teenage girls. Makes me so mad.

Exactly this. But I'm glad the actual family are the understanding ones. They do have a point and it really does give you chills. But then, you get to the stupid, uneducated, and overly dramatic teenage girls and well, the story just goes downhill from there. If you ask me, the typical American teenager is enough for me to worry enough about this country alone.

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The first video made me so glad that the family was understanding, and it actually gave me chills.

 

The second video....WOW. Mood ruined. Stupid, typical teenage girls. Makes me so mad.

Exactly this. But I'm glad the actual family are the understanding ones. They do have a point and it really does give you chills. But then, you get to the stupid, uneducated, and overly dramatic teenage girls and well, the story just goes downhill from there. If you ask me, the typical American teenager is enough for me to worry enough about this country alone.

 

I wouldnt blame the girls too much. They are young, have just witnessed or been near a fatal accident and suddenly they have a camera right in front of their face. I think the media are the stupid ones for actually publishing this. This does not just happen with young american girls, it happens all over the world. Kids, teens, adults.... people who have just been involved in a traumatic incident gets a camera showed up in their face, they end up saying something stupid and the media doesnt think twice about publishing it.

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Hi:

 

I'm a newbie to this forum, but this is an interesting story to me. I'm a former Disneyland (CA) ride-op, a lawyer, and presently a business owner in retail.

 

As a lawyer, there is a doctrine called comparative negligence, which would seem to be the ultimate question here. It seems likely that both the park and the guest were negligent. The guest, especially in light of his condition, should have reviewed the signs and safety information (assuming they were readily available/accessible to him). A reasonable guest in his condition, after reading the signs, should not have attempted to ride. At the same time, however, the park staff also should have been aware of the safety limitations (assuming that this was a known issue) and should have prevented the guest from riding.

 

The question for a jury is who is more negligent and by how much.

 

As a business owner and former DL cast-member, my opinion is that it is mostly on the park. First, parks are in the guest services business. That means the park and its entire culture is around understanding and serving the guest. And anyone who has worked in a park (and certainly the management) understands that, for the most part, guests check their brains at the door. At DL we called it the "sheep effect". We used to put a cast-member in front of attractions just to tell people, "there are 2 lines" because the guests see the one long line and just get in it like sheep.

 

Of course, checking your brain is pretty much the whole point of these parks. The guest is there to let go, in a fun, relaxed. and safe vacation environment. They are not thinking. It is the park's job to think. The park is there to take care of their guests in every way. And above all else, this means keeping the guests safe. The park is in a better position than the guests to know what is and what is not safe. They have the ability to train their staff on safety and enforce the safety rules.

 

Moreover, from a business standpoint, there is a fantastic economic incentive to avoid incidents like this. The cost of a highly trained, safety-aware staff is very small compared to the loss of business this kind of publicity causes, not to mention the legal costs associated with a death. $2.0 million goes a long way to safety training -- and I'll bet they are going to lose more than that on this nightmare.

 

Was the guest negligent as well? My opinion is yes. But I think that juries and most people agree that while everybody "should" read the signs, most people don't. And I also think that most people will agree that it is reasonable for a guest to at least ask if it is safe to ride. Certainly, in the case of a severely disabled amputee, if the ride ops were aware of his condition (and it appears that they were), then it seems pretty reasonable to assume if the ride ops let you ride then the ride is safe. After all, it is likely fairly easy to find evidence that the park trains the ops that is their primary job function -- above all other considerations -- to operate the ride safely. And most people know this.

 

So I do think the guest has some element of negligence. He should have read the signs. He should have obeyed them. He should have specifically asked a lead operator if the ride was safe for him. But I think that the guest's negligence pales in comparison to the park's. The ride operators primary function is to assure the safety of the guests. Period. The park should have drilled this into the ride ops' heads. The front of the park should have a manager on duty to meet with severely disabled guests and brief them on what they can and can't do safely (maybe they did, but haven't read that). The ride ops should be intimately aware of the safety limitations of the ride and should be trained to enforce those limitations without exception, 100% of the time. The park has every incentive to get safety right every day. Idiot guests? Not so much. We know this. So will any jury.

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By now, the story is hitting more major news networks. I'll provide links to the full stories but here are some excerpts with interesting details.

 

It was the only ride the two boarded during a weekend family getaway at the park, 1½ hours from Hackemer's home in Gowanda.

 

Hackemer had asked the park's staff which rides would be safe for him, Luffred recalled.

 

"They're all fine," a guest-services worker said.

"I'm going to put my hands up when we go down!" he excitedly told his nephew.

 

But once it was rolling, Luffred said, he realized the belt and lap bar in the coaster might not hold his uncle, who had no lap.

 

Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/roller_coaster_fall_kills_hero_xkUkFxNorAz1ht4KEIThOP#ixzz1RhsDjiyA

 

Full Story From New York Post

 

"They were descending from one of the hills when he became dislodged from the roller coaster and fell to the ground," Walker said.

 

Hackemer, who had been fitted with prosthetic legs, was not wearing them on the ride, according to senior dispatcher James Tripp of the Sheriff's Office.

Full Story from CNN

 

The biggest thing this brings to light is that Guest Services gave him the OK to go on all the rides by telling him that "they're all safe" for him to ride. I'm not sure what Darien Lake's policy is for disabled persons, but if they get a wristband or something and he was cleared for everything then perhaps the ride attendants were just following orders.

 

Again, I'm not sure how much of this is 100% true, and we will not know until the official report, but interesting none the less.

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I went to Darien Lake Yesterday and I have some great photos to show of it!

 

Ride Rundown

 

'Cuda Falls (2 blue and green slides)

Tornado (1)

Swirl City (1 CannonBowl Run)

Viper (1)

Ranger (1)

Sleighride (1)

Mind Eraser (1)

Giant Wheel (1)

Boomerang (1 my first Boomerang!)

The Predator (1)

Haymaker (1)

Silver Bullet (1)

Scrambler (1)

Motocoaster (1)

Lasso (1)

Raging Seas (1)

 

Now for the photos

 

531899479_BarracudaBaybridgesign(Medium).JPG.8d05be182cc41b4ef2fa7db741656391.JPG

They moved the Barracuda Bay sign to the bridge

 

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The kiddie Barrels of Fun wheel

 

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Vekoma Bommerang on the lake

 

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The sign for Boomerang and it's not for the "Lily-Livered"

 

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A blacked out Batman logo from the former Nightmare at Phantom Cave building

 

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Critter Chase ride

 

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Crazy Yellow Submarine

 

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'Cuda Falls from the Gaint Wheel

 

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"Welcome to Darien Square" WTF!

 

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Algae infested Lazy River :p

 

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More evidence from Nightmare at Phantom Cave

 

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Even more evidence from Nightmare at Phantom Cave!

 

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The Haymaker

 

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In case you're wondering who made it? this should be a clue

 

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A canoe by the Mind Eraser

 

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The Mind Eraser advertises itself on the lamps

 

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Mind Eraser's sign

 

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The only Huss Ranger ride operating

 

1573181866_Rangersign(Medium).JPG.1f00bab99d83bb1a5fdfcc191bc08fb0.JPG

The name says it all!

 

231520544_Splashmaniapole(Medium).JPG.965f7e5a822bbb77911f9adfd060cd07.JPG

Abandoned high dive pole

 

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The Silver Bullet from the Giant Wheel

 

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The former Superman crystals in kiddie land next a ship

 

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In case you're wondering about the name of the ship it's the "Swashbuckler"

 

212285834_ThomastheTankEngineatAdventureIsle(Medium).JPG.5a73c7677f15f5de19cfda73fda07c11.JPG

What is Thomas the Tank Engine doing at a former Six Flags park?

 

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The little kiddie coaster aww

 

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What is in those cans besides kids?

 

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The Adventure Isle ship and a Huss UFO ride

 

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The sign for the UFO

 

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The Black Viper

 

421564939_WeatherBalloon(Medium).JPG.efc1563661902395370b2125c9ad5b59.JPG

And last but not least, the Adventure Isle Balloons

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From a legal standpoint, warning/rules signs really don't mean jack and don't absolve the ride ops/park of liability. Those signs are put up to try to protect the park/Intamin from liability before it happens, but they don't protect the park, really. It's like those Caution: Wet Floor signs in stores. If someone slips and falls right beside the sign, you'd better believe the store is still liable. The rider used poor judgment, but the ride ops should not have let him ride.

 

While you are correct, the part about the wet floor signs/store is still liable...if we are talking about a retail chain that is union well that makes it much harder to sue even if its totally the fault of the store. For example in Denver there is a supermarket chain that is owned by Kroger called King Soopers. King Soopers is not only local Denver institution since the 1940's but they are also union. I do business in Denver quite often and have heard many of stories from so so many about people getting hurt in their stores who had tried to sue only to find out that few if any local Denver area lawyers would even touch it because they just don't want to deal with the union at King Soopers.

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Does anybody know when RoS will be up and running again? It seems pretty clear cut that the man was not fit to ride, and that the investigators have concluded this. I hope it is, since I'm visiting Saturday. My thoughts and prayers go out to him though.

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The family is taking it way to well. How come, no one has mentioned posible suicide? That type of restaint only holds your waist, if you're top heavy with no legs, to lock you in, I'd say for sure, you have a real good chance of coming out.

 

I was thinking in a similar fashion.

 

I was thinking this as well. It seems very possible that after seeing what he saw and going through what he went through that he'd be ready to just end it. Maybe he was suicidal and thought one last day with his family at an amusement park capped off by a literal "ride of his life" would be a nice way to go.

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^I didn't want to post the 'suicide' angle since we already are dealing with soooo much speculation in this thread, but I totally agree with that as a possibility.

 

Especially since apparently this was the ONLY ride he chose to ride the whole day.

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I was thinking too that perhaps his family had to always take care of him, so subconsciously they were relieved to not have to constantly wait on him hand and foot anymore and deal with that burden, although they'd never admit it. Also, for all we know he could have been suffering from a severe case of PTSD, and his family is relieved that he is at peace now. Who knows, there are many possibilities.

Edited by FeelTheFORCE
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Does anybody know when RoS will be up and running again? It seems pretty clear cut that the man was not fit to ride, and that the investigators have concluded this. I hope it is, since I'm visiting Saturday. My thoughts and prayers go out to him though.

 

There is going to be a "full investigation" on what happened and who knows how long that will take. The ride will then also have to be approved for operation by numerous safety organizations. It also depends of whether they decide to make physical safety changes to the ride which could take weeks if not months. Personally, I wouldn't put my money on next Sat.

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I have to admit that suicide was also at the back oft mind, I didn't want to say anything because it is pure speculation and the truth of the matter is that we will never know. If he was aiming to kill himself I do not judge him, he certainly has endured more than 99% of the population could ever dream of enduring. If he wanted to end his suffering who am I to judge? I'm glad that his family is strong enough to get through this. I hope for the park's sake that the investigation is quick and thorough, but I understand if it takes time to get ROS running again.

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I personally dont think this will effect the ride. Several articles have mention there were no mechnical failures and everything was working as it should. They cant ignore this is a very isolate issue with the guy virtually having nothing to secure him against the forces of that ride.

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^ Still, they might make modifications to appease the GP. The whole Roller Coaster Tycoon mentality of "I'm not riding Ride of Steel, It isn't safe!" will not go away no matter what the investigators determine. I still have my fingers cross and I'm hoping that RoS will be left untouched.

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Yea. He could have went skydiving solo with no arms...would have been a similar ending. No way for the safety measures to be used when the vital parts of your body needed for it to work right aren't there.

 

Never gave the suicide thing a thought, very interesting. I definitely hope the ride itself is cleared of the mess. You know how there will be 1 or 2 whack jobs in some political position who will try to justify their irrational fear by saying this proves roller coasters are unsafe.

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