Thu Aug 04, 2005 8:37 am
Boy Dies On Playland Water Ride
(Rye, N.Y.-AP, August 3, 2005) — A boy died Wednesday on a ride at the Playland amusement park in Westchester, the county executive's office said.
The death occurred in late afternoon on Ye Old Mill, a boat-in-the-water amusement that is tamer than many of the historic park's rides. Donna Greene, a spokeswoman for County Executive Andrew Spano, said the boy was found in the water. The cause of death was not immediately known. Spano planned a news conference at the park Wednesday night.
In May 2004, a 7-year-old girl was killed on Playland's Mind Scrambler ride, which was spinning riders around in a darkened tent to flashing lights and loud music. Investigators concluded that Stephanie Dieudonne, of New Rochelle, wriggled free of the restraining bar on one of the Mind Scrambler's cars, knelt on the seat and fell soon after the ride started.
Thu Aug 04, 2005 11:27 am
Thu Aug 04, 2005 8:51 pm
Sat Aug 06, 2005 3:44 pm
Mon Aug 29, 2005 3:38 pm
RYE — Playland Park is suspending or firing more of its summer workers than it has in recent years, sending home an average of one worker every other day for infractions that include using cell phones on the job, taking unauthorized breaks and skipping training sessions, park documents show.
Park Director Joseph Montalto said the increased number of employees being disciplined was not necessarily related to a consultant's recommendation after a child's death on a ride last summer that the park "stand firm" against workers who violated procedures. Montalto said the park did not "measure things in terms of the number of people we fire," but noted that he recently hired a new director of operations with a reputation for strictness.
Between opening day May 14 and Aug. 20, the most recent date for which information was available, 39 Playland employees were suspended or fired. That number may not reflect all cases, because Montalto declined to release reports describing pending disciplinary actions, which the law allows him to withhold. Twenty-three of the workers ordered out of the park were ride operators, attendants or managers with responsibility for safety.
By the same date last summer, Playland had suspended or fired 24 employees for misconduct unrelated to stealing ride tickets, a problem that was eliminated when admissions were automated this year. By Aug. 20, 2003, the park had suspended or fired 12 workers.
In all, 156 of the approximately 800 summer employees at Playland — including ride operators and attendants, managers, custodial workers, cashiers, and lifeguards at the amusement park, beach and pool — were cited for a total of 192 infractions by Aug. 20 this year. Over the past two years, an average of 91 employees were cited for 122 infractions by the same date.
Fri Nov 11, 2005 1:09 pm
New York - WABC, November 10, 2005) - There is a final report just out tonight on a deadly amusement park accident that claimed the life of a seven-year old boy.
The seven year old was killed last summer on a ride called "Ye Old Mill."
Eyewitness News reporter Charles Perez is at the amusement park in Rye.
It was three months ago that seven-year old John Kelly Cassara lost his life on a ride at Westchester County's Playland amusement park.
Tonight, Westchester County police have released the results of their investigation into the cause of the seven-year old boy's death.
The report -- based on witness interviews, physical evidence, medical examiner's findings, surveillance video, maintenance records, and communications procedures -- determined the following:
John Kelly Cassara did not drown. Rather, he died from blunt trauma to the head and it was accidental.
The witnesses -- three young girls -- say he was outside the boat walking in water and climbed up on a narrow catwalk.
By the time he was found, his body had been lying in the water for about 40 minutes. There was no water in his lungs and no evidence of foul play. He'd likely fallen and hit his head.
But the investigation did raise issues about the park itself:
- Not fully staffing the ride
- Not properly training operators
- Not communicating effectively to police
Not fully completing the ride's pre-opening checklist
In each case, they found there were deficiencies. But, they said none that contributed to John Kelly's death.
His family quickly responded saying, "The report raises more disturbing questions than it answers. It is outrageous and insulting to the family that such a self-serving, inconsistent, and incomplete report would be issued. The family is now certain that litigation is required to retain the truth in this horrible tragedy."
Friday, John Kelly Cassara's mother will go before the camera's in a press conference at the Westchester County Courthouse.
Fri Nov 11, 2005 1:14 pm
Fri Nov 11, 2005 2:26 pm
Sat Jun 30, 2007 8:16 am
NEW YORK - A gyrating ride at a historic amusement park is under renewed scrutiny after a young woman died in the second fatal accident in less than four years.
The woman was killed Friday night in an accident involving the Mind Scrambler ride at Playland Amusement Park in Rye, N.Y., just north of New York City, said Westchester County Police spokesman Kieran O’Leary.
Emergency workers responded quickly, “but there wasn’t very much anybody could do for her,” O’Leary said. The woman, who was in her 20s, was pronounced dead at the scene around 9:30 p.m., he said.
Police were investigating early Saturday and released few details about the accident. The woman’s name was not released because her family had not been notified, O’Leary said.
The indoor attraction spins riders around in a darkened tent with flashing lights. It was the scene of another deadly accident on May 22, 2004. Stephanie Dieudonne, 7, wriggled free of the restraining bar on one of the cars, knelt on the seat and fell soon after the ride started, according to investigators.
The amusement park was not cited for any violations or required to make improvements to the ride after the girl’s death, but officials announced plans to add seat belts, more lighting and a second attendant at the Mind Scrambler.
Friday’s accident marked the fourth fatality within as many years at the county-owned Playland, a National Historic Landmark that opened in 1928. After the Mind Scrambler accident in 2004, a 7-year-old boy was killed the next year when he climbed out of his boat ride and fell, according to investigators. A 43-year-old man drowned after wading into a lake at the park on July 4, 2006.
The park’s director and a spokesman for the county Department of Parks, Recreation & Conservation, which oversees Playland, did not immediately return telephone messages left at their offices late Friday.
The Mind Scrambler and a nearby section of the amusement park were closed after the accident Friday, but other areas remained open, O’Leary said.
Playland is on Long Island Sound, about 20 miles north of the George Washington Bridge between New York City and Fort Lee, N.J. Featuring more than 50 rides, a pool and a beach, it draws more than 1 million visitors a year.
Sat Jun 30, 2007 8:19 am