There are not many news reports at this time, but what is known is that the park is called "Rockin Raceway" and the rides name is "The Hawk". I only saw the ride for a brief second on my local news, so I was unable to identify the manufacturer of the ride. But it looked very similar to the "Kamikaze" ride without the cage surrounding the ride vehicles. It is speculated that there was a failure with the over the shoulder restraints on the ride, however an OSHA investigation is pending.
This is the only news report I can find at the moment...I'll add more information later as more details become known.
*** Edited 3/15/2004 1:51:01 AM UTC by Raptor Pilot***
My prayers go out to the woman's family. It must be incredibly depressing to come to a place like Pigeon Forge for a fun weekend, only to have it end in tragedy.
*** Edited 3/15/2004 2:02:06 AM UTC by Dukeis#1***
Here are two additional reports about the accident. *** Edited 3/15/2004 3:34:45 PM UTC by coasterfreaky***
What a horrible tragedy. *** Edited 3/15/2004 7:22:39 AM UTC by GoliathKills***
Here's another article from the Tennessean. According to the TV news here, the woman was actually from the suburb of Goodlettsville, which is next to me.
As sad as this already is, to top it off, I've already heard one person this morning talking about this accident at *Dollywood*.
*** Edited 3/16/2004 3:47:35 AM UTC by Raptor Pilot***
Very sad accident!
Also they showed it on TV here this morning.
It's really sad and scary at the same time. Guess I'll think twice before I ride one of those at a county fair...
I love the ride. :-D
I am very sad to hear about the accident. :-(
*** Edited 3/16/2004 1:50:40 AM UTC by coasterqueenTRN***
That sets a clear case for the family to sue Rockin Raceway. What a tragic ending to a vacation.
Yes, the ride is Manfactured by Zamperla of Italy. The Hawk has the same double locking system as the mixer and rotoshake. The pins that lock in the harness are air controlled and as far as I know cannot be opened while the ride is in motion. On the news it said that the woman was uneasy about ride and was struggling to get out of the harness which may have added to the malfunction. The only possible way for the harness to open would be if the pins retracted, but The harnessing system is VERY safe and reliable.
Also..... The owner was trying to sell the Hawk, it has been listed on a Ride Classifieds for some time?¿?
here is a picture of the harnessing system:
If I'm not mistaken it must be both a hydraulic system (which raises & lowers the restraint) & a pnuematic system(that locks the pins) I alway's assumed it was completely hydraulic so this is news to me.
The only problem is that if the ride wasn't locked than the operator should've seen this on the panel & never been able to start the ride....they're also required to do a visual check of all the restraints by pulling on them to make sure the locking pins are in the correct position before they start up the ride cycle.
If the woman was pulling and pushing on the harness it may not have locked properly, but the operator should have caught the malfunction! if the harness was not propertly lock the ride system would not have gone but it is possible to override the control board. it is possilbe the operator took a quick look at everyone and went "looks good to me" and overrid the system.
im almost 85% percent sure it was operator error.
also.... the operator should have asked the lady if she was uneasy about riding, when she was trying to get out.
I think there needs to be a sign on all rides saying, This MACHINE can cause serious injury if ridden incorrectly, please listen to all operators and follow all directions. Also....PLEASE do not adjust harnesses, WAIT for the operators help!
Most if not all rides have signs posted instructing riders on proper safety rules for the individual attraction...but then again seeing as how this incident happened at what appeared to be a park that's run more like a traveling carnival you can easily see how something like this can happen.
If it is a restraint failure & not operator error then it looks like they need to have tougher inspection standards for their rides....of course inspection policies vary from state to state but in this case they may need to be reviewed after this incident to avoid future accidents from occurring.
One thing I don't get is if the victim was trying to get out just before the ride started is why didn't the op notice this & simply unlock the restraints & let her out? she could've gotten the operators attention somehow to let them know she didn't want to ride after she had gotten on & could've simply asked to be let off of the ride.
Putting a sign up would no do anything to prevent this from happening again...nobody ever reads the signs anyway! The only thing that will prevent this is better training of ride ops, or better restraint systems. I have been to this park (as I said in the other thread,) and I would not have gotten on the Hawk anyway...it just did not appear to be safe. I really hate that Tennesse does not regulate these rides, and I am actually shocked that this is the first time that anything has happened like this in this area!
The 17-y.o. operator checked the harness and it was secure when the ride started. According to witnesses it popped open a few seconds in to the ride.
The manufacturer and other inspectors completed their investigation on Wednesday 3/17.
Read for yourself. (Sorry these KNS sites tend to go away over time)
Anyhow...ASSUMING that the op checked the restraints and they WERE locked, then one of two possibilities exist: 1) Manufacturing defect (seems unlikely considering the number of Hawks out there and the lack of reported problems before), or 2) improperly performed ride maintenance which resulted in a catastrophic failure of the restraints.
Right now, I'd bet on #2.
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