A sad day remembered, SRM 5/31

Associated parks:

I couldn’t make it to Fridays night ERT because I had to work, and I couldn’t afford 2 nights at a hotel. But what I did experience at Holiday World was much delight but much sadness.

I woke up at 5 am early Saturday morning to trek the long 3 hour drive with my cousin and brother. None of us has ever been to a coaster event and since I am the only coaster enthusiasts in the family I was really looking forward to it. After what seemed like an eternity we finally reached Dale, Indiana, to check into our hotel. We had a little problem because the hotel requires that you be 21 in order to check in but I sweet talked to the person at the counter, and swear that I wasn’t going to misbehave I had a hotel room!

We got to the park around 8:45 just in time for the morning ERT for Splashin Safari. I was decked out wearing my rideworld tshirt , so If you saw someone that was wearing a blue rideworld tshirt and khaki shorts, that was me! We had to wait a few minutes to pick up out tickets and before we knew it we were walking to the water park. Then we got our locker and headed over for our first ride of the day, Zinga!

Zinga – 4 rides – around 10 min wait on eachI have a new favorite water slide! I love this ride so much. Its just pure fun. The best part of the ride is that it gives you airtime, and the funnel is awesome. Go down backwards; trust me you won’t be disappointed. The only thing that sucks about the ride is that you have to carry those big inner tubes all the way up to the top and after 4 rides I was pretty exhausted and my feet hurt.Score: 9.5/10

After my first ride I decided that I was really stupid because it was really cold that morning and I left my towel in the locker, which we couldn’t get because they wouldn’t let us. Then I went over and rode Zoombabwe

Zoombabwe – 2 rides – 10-15 min wait for eachSomeone last year said that you get airtime on this baby, but I don’t know how. This year there can only be 2 adults per raft, and they added extra water in one part to slow it down. Other than that I loved the ride, especially the little faces in the side.Score 8.5/10

After that I decided that holiday world needs escalators to travel up these slides but found the strength and will to head over to ortarango (sp?) which are all good and got in 6 rides then I decided to have a break and wait until they opened the park, they I realized that we couldn’t enter the park until 11 which I thought sucked and was unfair to make us stay in that one little spot, but eventually I got over it and finally at precisely 11 they let us go to the theme park, where I got my first ride on Hallowswings.

Hallowswings – 3 rides – 10 min wait then no wait later in the dayThis is a great addiction to Holiday World. I did have a little bad luck it seems that a bolt fell off the ride and a girl handed it to a ride op, which looked at the ride and decided to let us go anyway. Other than that a great ride, but I wished that all the seats were the same size because I got a small seat and it kinda hurt.Score: 8/10

After that I went over to the Legend for my first roller coaster of SRM.

The Legend – 3 rides – 30 min waitFirst I thought Raven was the superior one but after riding this coaster I am now convinced that the Legend is better than the Raven. Great speed, great airtime, great laterals, great headchoppers, great tunnels, everything equals to one heck of a ride. From start to finish this coaster never lets up and is now my favorite wooden roller coaster.Score 10/10

I headed over to the Raven but it had a fairly long line so we decided to head off around the park and ride bumber boats and bumper cars. Bumper boats is a tradition to ride at Holiday World, great ride and very entertaining. Once again something bad happened and a disabled person fell into the water while trying to get into the boat. They had to fill out an accident report and we were let onto the ride.

After that I went over to bumper cars which is another great ride to go on but the ride op was a little rude and kept yelling at a kid to stop pressing on the pedal while he checks to the seat belt. During our ride there was of course a pile up which contained pretty much everyone but me so I decided to turn into the opposite direction (don’t get me wrong I know it’s a one way but still I didn’t feel like just being stuck in the middle with everyone else), and the guy gets on the speakers and yells at me to turn around I did and the ride was over. Nothing that bad but still the guy could have been nicer.

Then I went over to Liberty Launch, but seeing as how slow the line moves I decided to wait until that nights ERT to ride it, which I sadly regret. After that I rode the Roundhouse which spins you a lot of is a good ride. Then I headed over to the river rapids ride (forgot what it’s called) and rode it twice. Great ride nice theming and the best of all no wait. We were getting hungry and decided to go over to Kringles café and eat some lunch. Good food, great price, and free drinks, cant beat that. Then we decided to head onto the Raven.

Raven – 2 rides- 30 min waitThis was my number one but after the earlier ride on the legend it fell to the #2 spot, which is still a huge honor. The ride seemed a little rough, but nothing I couldn’t handle, the 3rd hill is great and the last part with the speed is awesome.Score 8.5/10

After that we rode legend some more and goofed around. We played some games which is cool because they have games that cost only a dollar and when good prizes. We bought souvenirs and rode a few more rides.

Then at 7:15 we went over and waited in line to eat. The food was wonderful, but the line wasn’t. I luckily was pretty close to the front and got my food and inhaled it.

This is when things started to go wrong. I was standing near the volleyball court and I saw Paula (the PR person for Holiday World) run out of the picnic area. I didn’t think much of it and went to stand near the entrance to the picnic area. We stood there for about 20 min, then was told to head back that Mrs. Koch was wanting to speak to us. I really didn’t think to much of it, buts that the time the whispers started that something bad happened. A few minutes later she came out ( I was standing in the very back so I didn’t hear that well), and told us an accident happened on the Raven and some got ejected, she said a prayer and told us the event was cancelled. Immediately I felt my heart drop, like a thousand pound brick. I was at a lost for words. I began to think that I was riding the Raven earlier and how much fun it was but now I couldn’t even think about that. I prayed for nothing bad to happen, Holiday World doesn’t deserve anything bad to happen. I just want to say my prayers go out to the wonderful people of Holiday World.

To the Koch family may god be with you at this time. Everything you do means so much to us nothing can change that. I wish you the best in this hard time and may you somehow recover from this tragedy.

Join Rideworld, and tell them that coaster-freak sent you!!!
*** This post was edited by coaster-freak 6/1/2003 5:24:55 PM ***

What the heck went wrong? lap bar ratchet failure? employee error?

Scooby High Score: 1830 as of May 3!

A woman got ejected from the Raven and died.
If Milli Vanilli fell in the woods, would someone else make a sound ?
I KNOW that. I mean, how did she get ejected? bar failure or rider misbehavior?

Scooby High Score: 1830 as of May 3!

You'll have to wait until investigators can find out really what happened. Right now, anything is just speculation.


Exactly. We don't need speculation. The rider's family and the Koch's don't deserve that, just wait until the investigators are finished.


Now that you mention it, I actually remember seeing Paula run out of the picnic area. At the time I thought something might be wrong, but had forgotten about it by the time the announcement was made. It's pretty scary now that I've made the connection.

Also, I think we should follow Mrs. Koch's instructions and not gossip about this, especially while so few actual facts have been released.

Joe Cernelli
Webmaster, Kennywood Boulevard
Shedding off one more layer of skin, keeping one step ahead of the persecutor within.
*** This post was edited by cernelli 6/1/2003 7:56:06 PM ***

Yeah guys lets try not to speculate. I'm sure most of us will like to know what happened but out of respect to the families and Holiday World i believe we should just be patient.

On a side note does anyone know why the Legend was still running when we walked to our cars?

Join Rideworld, and tell them that coaster-freak sent you!!!

Wow. Thats pretty much my thoughts on the whole situation. As a new person to the whole coaster enthusiast scene, SRM 2003 was my first enthusiast event.

I had attended with a couple friends who are members of CoasterBuzz. It was just a very scary situation.

Everyone keeps mentioning to keep the Koch family in their prayers, but also keep the victim's family in your prayers also.

I had a gig Saturday night in Columbus, so my wife and I had to head back Saturday afternoon. I came to Coasterbuzz earlier today to post a trip report from Friday night, but found this horrible news instead. May God be with all who were affected.
SRM 2003-Look for the guy with my name on his chest

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