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Six Flags Darien Lake (SFDL) Discussion Thread

P. 408: Predator retracking under way!

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^Yeah the family just gives me chills. They are so clear headed and are facing this tragedy head on. They seem like a close group of loving individuals who were thankful for every day that James was alive, and they just wanted him to be happy. I know next time I ride RoS I'll think of James H. And his family and all of his accomplishments and the obsticals he overcame.

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The whole Roller Coaster Tycoon mentality of "I'm not riding Ride of Steel, It isn't safe!"

 

I don't agree. I think, if anything, the accident will increase ridership. SOB seemed to have longer lines when it reopened after the 2006 accident.

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^ Perhaps I'm overestimating the hysteria. I guess I just have some chicken friends, because after the accident a few people texted me (knowing that I'm the coaster geek) telling me that they were swearing off the ride forever. All I know is that I will not stop Riding RoS.

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^ Perhaps I'm overestimating the hysteria. I guess I just have some chicken friends, because after the accident a few people texted me (knowing that I'm the coaster geek) telling me that they were swearing off the ride forever. All I know is that I will not stop Riding RoS.

 

Thats irrational fear. Making a decision like that based on incorrect information at the fact that they already seemed scared or worried to begin with.

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Has any park ever said they made modifications to a perfectly safe ride to appease the GP but they actually didn't modify a thing? They wouldn't be able to tell the difference of a modified train or an unmodified train; some cannot even correctly refer to the seatbelt.

 

I think it'd work myself...just a nice maintenance rehab on the trains to get them all prettied up and say they modified it.

 

That's not mean, right?

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^Maybe not even lie, just replace the standard seatbelt buckle (the one where you pull the tongue thing over and it unlatches) with the double locking seatbelt that Top Thrill Dragster has. It's still a "modification".

 

coaster_belt.jpg.be01aedc111108e52a91cf7be9963552.jpg

This (Current Seatbelt Design)

100_8979__medium_.jpg.812c50e80d2b6aaa726c736844bd2bfe.jpg

Versus this (Dragster Seatbelt)

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While Kristin was at her baby shower today, I showed this video to the male side of my extended family and provided them with no background of the incident . The general consensus from a group that included a criminal lawyer, a psychiatrist, and a sociology professor was that he was going for suicide via roller coaster and the family was at least partially aware of it ahead of time.

 

 

 

Chris "Not to be a debbie downer" Connolly

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Millennium Force uses no legged dummies with no lap bar.

 

Same with SFA's ROS & I305.

 

I can only imagine how bad the ops are now feeling knowing that someone has died on their watch...I spoke to someone at KD two weeks ago who was on duty at Shockwave when they had the accident in 99 & of course you have to wonder with each train you send out do they ever fear that a train is gonna return with one,or more seats empty due to someone's mistake in letting someone on who isn't capable of riding safely or just the guest's own foolishness(as was the case with Shockwave)?

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There are posted height regulations that the operators check when anyone seems too short. So why did they let someone with a visable disability on the ride shocks me. there is signs posted out front and the fact that he didn't follow the rules and the ride operators still left him on leaves the blame on the ride operators.

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"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.

 

 

 

There is........ Its called duct tape!

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As several others have mentioned, the thought that this might have been a suicide definitely crossed my mind early on during reading and watching coverage of the incident. Not that I'm saying it was, just that there were more than a couple peculiarities that had me thinking along those lines. The thought that it was the only ride he rode all day being the one that really stood out.

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I'm honestly not sure if it was suicidal at all after reading about the type of person he was. He seemed like a person who understood the possible effects that his "suicide" would have on people other then his family. For example the other riders (including children) that witnessed him die. Not to mention the ride operators who let him on the ride. Who's not to say that one of them is blaming his/her self for his death?. He just seemed like the type of guy that wouldn't let that type of burden fall on individuals he never knew. However, you never know for sure.

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Alright... Since I'm the new kid, I would like to start by saying: I hope I don't step on anyone's toes in any post I may make at any time... Now... On to this discussion... I have read most of the posts on this incident; Many valid points were stated. Here's my take on it... As a former SF Ride Op & grease monkey, I have seen the decline in the intelligence of the staffing at many parks - some for the area they are located, some due to the "lack thereof" concern/effort towards their jobs/responsibilities & some are because these TP's are placing ill-prepared Ops in positions they don't necessarily belong due to their issues with LOS. ALL of the ride's rules are in plain english in every SOP for EVERY ride in EVERY park. So... Who's to blame...? The park for having Ride Ops that disregard the guidelines of their jobs...? The Op for not obeying the SOP and violating park regulation...?

 

 

Now... As for the flip side of the coin... Let's look @ the Angry Patron angle. Yes - it happens more frequently than you think. I was actually involved in an incident where I wouldn't allow a political official's daughter ride a very famous woody for disobeying park rules. Nothing ever came of it, but the guests having issues for whatever reason alway talk big at the ride and it happens often. So, it may have been a case of this decorated war hero (regardless of how the investigation turns out, he will always deserve the dignity & respect he has earned) may have griped a hair to get his way. Instead of having it become an GR/PR issue, they took it upon themselves as Ops to poorly accommodate his request. Poor decision, but a possible scenario...

 

 

(Before anyone flies off the handle, I AM NOT in any way personally stating this is why the tragedy happened. If it comes out in the investigation that it was, then so be it. It is merely an angle that has been brought up and I'm chiming in with my thoughts about it...) I hate to say this... But I will. Those questioning the Suicide Angle - may not be too far outside the ballpark. I see it this way (not morbid, just from taking in facts) - the family members were very calm in the news broadcast (including, I want to say, the sister that was at the park with him and his kids) & it was the only ride he rode all day. IF this theory were true, it may never come to fruition that it was the motive of his "last ride"... Regardless, thoughts then return to the Op that let him onto ROS... Kind of a dizzying run around if you ask me...

Edited by ThaDSTURBD1
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While Kristin was at her baby shower today, I showed this video to the male side of my extended family and provided them with no background of the incident . The general consensus from a group that included a criminal lawyer, a psychiatrist, and a sociology professor was that he was going for suicide via roller coaster and the family was at least partially aware of it ahead of time.

 

 

 

Chris "Not to be a debbie downer" Connolly

 

He was riding next to his nephew. It would take a very callous person to subject a family member to something like that.

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For everyone questioning the riders height. This is just my guess but technically if I sit down on a roller coaster I would have been the same height as the man in the seat. the only difference is I still have my legs. Im guessing the height restrictions are making sure the body itself is able to be restrained by the restraints. So...probably when designers are designing they go from the min height from torso to shoulders and calculate the typical height for someone with that size torso to shoulders??

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While Kristin was at her baby shower today, I showed this video to the male side of my extended family and provided them with no background of the incident . The general consensus from a group that included a criminal lawyer, a psychiatrist, and a sociology professor was that he was going for suicide via roller coaster and the family was at least partially aware of it ahead of time.

 

 

 

Chris "Not to be a debbie downer" Connolly

 

He was riding next to his nephew. It would take a very callous person to subject a family member to something like that.

 

Possibility? He may have been so close to his nephew that he asked his nephew to be in on it.

 

I'm not saying it is true, only saying it is possible.

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I will raise my hand and say I severely bruised my right hand on the tunnel of Grizzly at KD last year, hurt for 2 months. The rules said to keep your arms inside the car....but I like air time, shoulda listened.

 

That's probably why they added lights to the entire length of the tunnel this season.

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Everything about this story is extremely unfortunate and also very odd.

 

Many are blaming the ride operators, but ride ops aren't what they used to be. You can blame a lot of people beyond the ride ops. It takes multiple failures for these things to happen. Saying it's just one or the other is actually flawed.

 

More maintenance workers, park employees and guests are being injured and unfortunately loosing their lives at non-traveling parks. It's a quality control issue, or actually a lack of, across the board. Work at enough parks (or visit enough also) and you clearly see the differences in operations.

 

The water test dummy thing ... seriously?

 

If the test dummies resembled Sgt. Hackemer, they would fall out. If Sgt. Hackemer resembled the testers, he wouldn't have. Those testers have two "thighs" where the lap bar secures them at an immobile angle. They don't need full legs.

 

The ride ops may or may not have noticed his rare exception having one thigh and not the other.

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I'm not buying the suicide angle. I would, however; like to have a word with the Intamin cable.

 

 

 

Scott, I've always been a fan of your opinions and your level headedness, but did you see the video?

First off, thanks for the compliment, Chris.

 

I did in fact watch the video in question. I've also read many of the articles written too, just so I could form a solid opinion on the matter. Honestly speaking, I'm sticking by my thoughts on this one. Personally I just don't see this as a possible suicide, and there's several reasons why I feel that way.

 

For starters, naturally, the realistic side of me just says there's 1001 other ways to kill yourself. And usually if someone is depressed enough to the point of ending their own life, they're generally not thinking of "going out with a big thrill." Secondly, generally speaking, most people who commit suicide don't intentionally gather their family for the event. Finally, I noticed something I could directly relate to concerning the surviving family members who were interviewed. The suggested "calmness" and "accepting nature" with which they spoke of their fallen relative seemed to be directly related to their personal faith (as was referenced in the video clip of the deceased man).

 

I understand not everyone will understand or even chose to give credit to that assumption or theory, and I always hesitate to bring religion to the conversation out of respect to everyone's own beliefs, but it was something that really stood out to me and helped solidify my opinion on the story.

 

I'll also be the first to admit if I'm wrong on this, but I've got a really strong hunch that this was in no way a suicide.

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