Boy falls from Cypress Gardens Triple Hurricane

Posted Monday, February 27, 2006 12:16 AM | Contributed by kevin38

A 13-year-old Orlando boy was hospitalized this weekend after falling from a roller coaster ride while acting on a dare from a friend, according to a statement from Cypress Gardens Sunday. Martin Llamas remained in intensive care at St. Joseph's Children's Hospital in Tampa, hospital officials said. The Sheriff's office says he was not sitting properly in the ride.

Read more from WKMG/Orlando.

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Monday, February 27, 2006 12:33 AM
Monday, February 27, 2006 1:04 AM
Once again:

Rides are safe...

...if they are ridden properly, and riders comply with safety rules and restraints (and a little common sense).

Monday, February 27, 2006 2:32 AM
I blame the parents for not teaching the kid how to ride properly. A lot of teens think that they are indestructable. I agree that he is an idiot, but I sure hope he's going to be okay.
Monday, February 27, 2006 7:46 AM
I'm not sure if anyone is at blame for not teaching someone to ride a rollercoaster, their really aren't classes for that. However, I would blame the attitude of safety being someone elses resposibility that many people have.
Monday, February 27, 2006 9:06 AM
Do I smell a Darwin Award? Hopefully the kid just ended up with the wind knocked out of him and some poo in his pants. What and idoit...
Monday, February 27, 2006 9:38 AM
Good thing he wasn't riding something bigger and faster when that happened. I can't imagine doing what he did. Even at that age, if someone dared me to do something that stupid, I would have told them where to go.

Interesting what the GP refers to some coaster elements; "Waves"...I like that. :)

Monday, February 27, 2006 10:02 AM
I hope he recovers enough to share his story. Sometimes the only person a foolish kid will listen to is another foolish kid.

He's darn lucky. If he fell out and hit a track support or fence instead of grass, this story could have been much, much worse.

Monday, February 27, 2006 10:22 AM
rollergator's avatar "I'm not sure if anyone is at blame for not teaching someone to ride a rollercoaster, their really aren't classes for that"

Park really should be more responsible for teaching their patrons not to endanger themselves...Where IS that rolling eyes's impossible for parks to predict/prevent every instance of rider misconduct...

I hope this kid is OK too, and that he relates his story before some other kid gets killed....

Cypress is very safety-concious in my experience, I'd say even moreso than their sister park.

Monday, February 27, 2006 11:36 AM
janfrederick's avatar I wonder how the family knew he wasn't standing?

Anyway, kids will do stupid stuff. I'm not looking forward to my son being that age. Heaven know's I've done plenty of stupid crap in my life. It'll be karma I suppose.

Monday, February 27, 2006 2:49 PM
I'm glad to hear he is ok... I swear there was a post last night with a link to CNN that reported the kid died...? Did I dream this OR was there an entire post deleted instead of locked? Maybe I'm going crazy... :-(
Monday, February 27, 2006 5:30 PM
I have a question that has been rolling around in my brain for a while now, and perhaps now is as good a time as any to ask it...

What IS a GOOD way for parks to actually communicate with their customers?

How do you get the appropriate safety messages to the riders?

Clearly the current approaches are not working. But how do we replace those methods that don't work with methods that do work? I have some thoughts about messages that work and messages that don't work, but it needs some fleshing-out.

What works?

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Monday, February 27, 2006 6:17 PM
I'll get myself in trouble if I bring Darwin into this won't I...?

Suffice to say...Dave...that I feel we already have more than enough comunication. The written signs are enough. If they give the verbal spieal...then better! If somebody still choses to ignore the warnings and/or is unable to understand the native language, then I see that as a "you" problem and not an "us" problem! If I ignore or misunderstand the communication in Japan that leads to my untimley demise on their soil, please feel no sorrow for me, and certainly do not propose further Japanese regulations in my name! Call me an idiot and waste not a thought...

Furthermore...I hold parents responsible for minors. I hold riders responsible for common sense. I'm aware that good minds may disagree with my views...but I'm confident that my views are within the mainstream of our society (not sure about this board though)!

P.S. What are some of your ideas? If you are talking about an IQ test before allowing guests to enter the park...then I might concur. It does not need to be fancy...maybe something like that Wonderlic test that Vince Young just scored a 6 on (this is a guy that should not be allowed anywhere near any machine, let alone a coaster)!

Monday, February 27, 2006 9:50 PM
Oh, Lets see, Parks like Kings island used to have signs that said stay seated and showed people falling out of the trains.

But I guess that was too shocking for some. They are no longer there.

Shocking is meeting someone and finding out three hours later that she fell from and died a coaster from riding unsafely.

More shocking would be those who actually seen the person afterwards.

Sorry to sound Upset, Mad or however it comes across, But if you see someone doing this and don't either says something to them or report it. Your almost as guilty as the person doing it.

Yes, Rides are safe. Statistically safer than just about anything else you can do. Ridden properly and following the rules.

Seriously, Instead of all the PC BS. and afraid of OFFENDING SOMEONE or scaring them. Parks should CLEARLY SOMEHOW SHOW THE CONSEQUENCES OF NOT RIDING SAFELY.

That or not allow teens and kids to ride without a adult. But then again, It's been proven adults can't do it either.

Sorry, I hate hearing about another instance of this. But if things keep going, There will be horsecollars on woodies. And then how popular will they be?

Chuck, who doesn't hesitate to tell someone to sit down. What they gonna do? Have me thrown from the park? At least they will still be alive to tell about the A hole who yelled at em.

Monday, February 27, 2006 11:42 PM
Does anyone know how this kid got free? I have read they think he wiggled free.

Also, Rideman, what are some of your ideas on getting the message across about ride safely? I like your posts and would like to read your thoughts.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006 6:31 PM
First, to answer Gorman's question--

The Triple Hurricane has PTC junior coaster cars, apparently without safety belts. Getting loose from one of those seats is no special trick, particularly if you're a small person riding solo. No "wiggling" would really be necessary.

Second, I don't have answers yet. I'm working on that part. And this is a discussion that really needs to be brought into the main forum, but I think it needs some polishing first. But consider this...

Three different amusement park chains have adopted sign programs where the complete instructions for riding the ride are spelled out in great detail on a 4' x 8' sign at the ride entrance. This makes the attorneys, inspectors, and insurance agents happy, but NOBODY reads the signs. In fact, I'm willing to bet that there is only one piece of information on that sign that almost every person riding the ride knows, and that's the height requirement. And odds are very good that those riders didn't get that height requirement from the gigantic sign.

For whatever reason, riders are not getting the proper messages. I have some ideas as to why: most notably, the fact that ass-covering has become more important than promoting ride safety. I think at least part of the problem is that the methods used for communicating with riders are so poorly implemented that nobody cares or pays attention anymore. Part of that is simply because the messages don't make any sense. I've taken to reading the big warning signs simply for my own amusement, even listening to the recordings that tell me to do things that are mechanically impossible or simply wrong because nobody bothered to do a sanity check on the message before making it public. And yet it doesn't matter because nobody reads the sign or listens to the recording anyway.

Part of the problem is that in an effort to warn riders of all possible hazards, the most hazardous behaviors are not identified. How many times have you seen a sign that says you have to hold on and not raise your arms while riding? And yet how often is that clearly stated rule clearly violated every single day without a single incident? Okay, so if it is all right to ride with your hands up, in clear violation of the rules, then it must also be okay to ride standing up, or with your limbs extended out sideways, or with your seat belt unfastened or your lap bar open. You see where this is going. By giving equal emphasis to all possible hazards, all possible hazards are viewed with equal contempt. You and I don't think this way, but then we understand that this is heavy machinery. We know that a coaster train weighs three tons empty and can kill you if you get into its way even at low speed. Most people don't think this way. Most people see a mostly harmless little Fiberglas car that can't possibly do them any harm.

The question is, how do we fix the problem? I'm not talking about a massive rider safety education campaign, although every one of us should be actively involved in exactly that. I'm talking about applying new techniques to try and solve a very old problem. Think about it. What kinds of messages actually work? What is going to get the Average Park Patron to actually pay attention to basic ride safety?

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006 6:53 PM
Good stuff Dave...

And here I was thinking that maybe if this kids parents would go back to the old "spanking method" as means of punishment, we would not have kids (who turn into adults) acting like this! I know if my dad ever saw me acting a fool on a ride, let alone standing up and doing twists...well lets just say I'd take my chances with the the "mostly harmless little Fiberglass car" versus facing his rod!

Can you blame the parks for covering their arse? This is an issue much bigger than common sense. Lawsuits long ago rendered sound reasoning and judgement obsolete!

Sunday, March 5, 2006 4:01 PM
We could get the parks to place a headless manikin with blood shooting up out of it and some idiot would still try to stand up.

Your chance of dieing is higher on your way to the park in your car is higher than your chance of getting hurt on a coaster.

Can you imagine a news cast that goes like this.

Something is killing dozens of people in our listening area More than ,The war in Iraq ,Defective products sold to children,more than just about anything in this country.

That Ladies and gentilemen is the automobile. Stay tuned for more on the news at ten.


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