Boy falls from Idlewild roller coaster

Posted | Contributed by SVLFever

A young boy tumbled from the wooden Rollo Coaster ride at the Idlewild & Soak Zone, spokesman Jeff Croushore said at an afternoon news conference. He is reportedly alert and talking with family. The victim was not identified, although a local fire station dispatcher earlier told NBC News the child was about 3 years old.

Read more and see video from NBC News.

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Raven-Phile's avatar

You know what really grinds my gears about this?

The article is posted on Facebook - shared on various news sites, etc... One comes across on my feed, and the 2nd comment stream is started by a coaster enthusiast - stating "Man, this sucks. This ride BETTER not get seatbelts now... I'll be PISSED"

Then, a whole mess of people agreeing with him, talking about how "this is absolutely not the park's fault/he had to be doing something wrong, etc.." and bitching about seatbelts and how/what rides have been RUUUIINNNEDD!!@@1 by their addition.

A huge part of the reason I choose not to be a part of many coaster "enthusiast" related things anymore. This is a really awful thing, and they just have to jump into making it about them.

Yep. You can smell the entitlement.

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Jason Hammond's avatar

It's been a while since I've ridden this, but as I recall, there's really no air time. I'll be surprised if they say he was "thrown" from the ride. The article even says he tumbled. I wonder if he climbed out. At 3 years old, he was likely under the 48" requirement to ride alone. I wonder if the person riding with him was: a) an adult; b) paying attention

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It reminds me of the comment someone posted after the accident in KC. Jerk writes about his "bad" day at the park where he didn't get everything he wanted and the cops should get involved. Somehow he found a way to make the tragedy about him.

I believe the ride has 48" requirement to ride without an adult, and smaller children can ride with an adult. It does not have any large hills or airtime, but is twisty with one sweeping corner at the turn-around. Also, I don't think this ride even has a lap bar, but simply a fixed bar that is attached to the backboard of the seat in front. I think the cars on this are still original from when it was built.

Vater's avatar

Correct, it does have a fixed bar.

According to this report the 3 year old was riding with his 7 year old brother.

If that is the case, then the responsibility for not enforcing their own rider requirements falls squarely on the park.

Hope the kid's going to be okay.

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The fixed bar setup looks like this was waiting to happen. Especially if little kids that can't follow instructions are riding the ride.

I agree with the sense of entitlement. They care more about their rear end floating around on a coaster seat than the overall safety of others.

Waiting since 1938...

Carousel Rabbit's avatar

Rollo Coaster is one of my favorite coasters ever because it is so classic in virtually every way. I fantasize all the time about how great it would be to work as an operator on it and use the big old brake lever. There's no "floating" on this coaster; it really doesn't exert much in the way of forces. If they put seatbelts on it, the main drawback (aside from sentimental ones) will be the slower loading times. It can definitely get a line on a busy day, and as it is now it dispatches as lightning fast as you'll ever see due to the lack of checkable restraints.

In my opinion, seatbelts are not needed on this coaster. If it were truly an accident waiting to happen (in any strong sense) it would not have waited this long. One incident does not make something unsafe, in my estimation. However, I do think that a child that young should have adult accompaniment, not just an older child with them. I would guess this will turn out to be an operation error.

I hope this doesn't cause anyone to class me with the "obnoxious entitled" people under discussion. I usually also get frustrated by how quick coaster enthusiasts are to assume a rider MUST have been at fault in a coaster accident because they do not ever want to blame parks for anything, so I definitely understand what everyone's saying about that.

I'm sorry, why again was a 3 year old riding with a 7 year old? That has trouble all over it. Any 3 year old should be riding with a parent or guardian. Parent or guardian fail/Ride host fail.

Right when I heard news of this, my initial thought was "A 3-year-old should not have been on that roller coaster". The "tallest teenager in the world", who had his extreme height condition diagnosed at two months old, was 4'2" (50") at age 3 - making him likely the only 3 year old in our lifetime that would've met the 48" requirement. This absolutely has to be operator error.

What a sad thing. I'm happy the boy is alive.

^^ I agree with you August. I heard about this on the news this morning. The parents should be blamed first and the ride op second.

With all the moving parts you have to utilize common sense with Rollercoasters and other rides. I've had a buzz bar open to the up position on Thunderhawk at Dorney, and almost got ejected from Leap The Dips on one of the last few hills when it stood me up. Scary stuff that can happen.

Carousel Rabbit's avatar

Adam J, I think 48" is only for riding unaccompanied. The height requirement for accompanied children is 36". It's really not a very intense ride.

Yeah, my thoughts exactly about the age. When I read the headline my first thought was that I read it wrong and it should have been 13 year old. Then, reading it again, I thought it must be a kiddie coaster as I wasn't familiar with the park at all. I was surprised to find a traditional coaster in the picture. Who lets a 3 year old ride a rollercoaster with a 7 year old? What park allows that??? Seems like a double fault of the parent(s) and the park to me, at least based on the current info available.

I am also surprised, and glad, to hear that the kid wasn't killed. Makes me want to say "who falls out of a coaster and lives?"

Seriously now, with the past week in the amusement world, it is great to hear that it sounds like the kid is going to survive. I suppose that is one bright spot of this dark week.

Fever I really enjoy the Simpsons. It's just a shame that I am starting to LOOK like Homer.
Carousel Rabbit's avatar

^^ It's not exactly a kiddie coaster – mostly in that it doesn't totally suck ;) – but I would definitely call it a junior coaster. RCDb gives its height as a modest 27'.

Idlewild is a picnic park with many shelter and parking areas very near the hill that the coaster is built on. It can be the type of situation where kids are cut loose on their own while the family camps out at the shelter. I agree a seven year old should never be responsible for a three year old, but I'm sure in many families that's the norm.
The ride is mild, alright, but it does have its moments. It's ingeniously built into the side of a hill and when you get to the top of the lift you find yourself rolling along the ground instead of up in the air. Small hills take over and the turn around is a curved drop for a little speed. None of the ride is visible from the load area and not much is visible from the midway.

The trains are old and shouldn't require a seat belt as long as everyone is minding their p's & q's. But I have a feeling at least a strap is on the way.

Carousel Rabbit's avatar

^^ "It has its moments" -- I'll agree with that. I really love it a lot. One of my top favorites, but I'm weird like that.

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