Boy in medically induced coma after falling from Castles N’ Coasters water ride

Posted Monday, November 30, 2015 9:10 AM | Contributed by LostKause

A 12-year-old boy is in critical condition after falling 30 feet while on a ride at a Phoenix amusement park. Dominick Leal was riding the Water Log at Castles N’ Coasters Friday afternoon “when he attempted to get off the ride while it was in motion,” according to a Phoenix police officer’s report.

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Monday, November 30, 2015 11:15 AM
Vater's avatar

"He was sitting down," says Leal's grandmother Carroll Stevenson. "Waving his hands. Telling them, 'I'm sliding!' And the guy sent him down anyway."

I'm sorry, but people don't just fall out of log flumes. Very conflicting accounts here from the park and the family, but based on the fact that no one has ever fallen out of that ride before, and assuming it operated without malfunction during this particular ride, I'm giving the park the benefit of the doubt.

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Monday, November 30, 2015 11:30 AM

A nice statement from the park, but also a candid account as well, which I think is good. I call bull that "no one" came to offer help in a situation like that. I wasn't there of course, but you hate to see something like this happen, and then the family immediately call blame on the park.

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Monday, November 30, 2015 5:01 PM

The sad reality is that attorneys across Phoenix are lining up to represent the family. A 12 year old boy is going to suffer life long injuries from what should have been a happy day at an amusement park, and that is the story they will tell in order to get their 40%.

I'm not saying it is right (the lack of personal accountability nowadays disgusts me), but in the world of personal injury law, this case is going to likely settle for a large amount. The "you can't fix stupid" theory doesn't apply in the legal world and plaintiffs council will argue that the park was obligated to do more to keep someone from jumping out of a moving log flume boat, such as having seat belts or a lap bar.

Last edited by Hanging n' Banging, Monday, November 30, 2015 5:02 PM
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Monday, November 30, 2015 5:08 PM
Jeff's avatar

This is the kind of stuff where you end up with lap bars on flumes.

I've often wondered how it is that Disney manages to give so many rides without incident, with rides that offer far fewer restraints and procedures. For example, you could do some cosmically stupid things on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (so easy to get out of restraints, especially for kids), but generally they have no accidents. What's different?


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Monday, November 30, 2015 5:30 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

Stupid people can't afford Disney.


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Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

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Monday, November 30, 2015 7:21 PM

Jeff said:

This is the kind of stuff where you end up with lap bars on flumes.

I've often wondered how it is that Disney manages to give so many rides without incident, with rides that offer far fewer restraints and procedures. For example, you could do some cosmically stupid things on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (so easy to get out of restraints, especially for kids), but generally they have no accidents. What's different?

With that, it also always amazes me the amount of stuff people are permitted to bring on rides and attractions at Disney, and again, not only are they allowed, but nothing bad seems to happen. Folks with bags and bags of crap pile onto rides and they are permitted to stow the stuff at their feet. I rode single rider with a guy on Rock 'n' Roller Coaster last week who rode with a decently sized duffel bag down at his feet. But at Cedar Point I have to take my sunglasses off on Power Tower.

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Monday, November 30, 2015 9:46 PM
LostKause's avatar

If the kid said he was sliding, it's because he was scared of the drop and what he imagined might have happened if he didn't have a good footing on the way down. If he was scared of the drop, he could have very well tried to jump out while it was cresting the drop. Perhaps this is one occasion that the ride operator should have hit the E-stop. Some accidents are caused by the rider getting scared and in a panic, attempting to get out of the ride vehicle. It sounds like that is what happened here.

And if none of the employees reacted after the boy fell, they could have been in shock. It's not everyday that they have to deal with something like this. One person said that the boy's head hit every pole on the way down, or something like that. Pretty scary stuff.

Last edited by LostKause, Monday, November 30, 2015 9:48 PM
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Monday, November 30, 2015 10:05 PM

If the operator at the top of a flume lift e-stopped the ride every time a rider acted scared or said they were scared (or yelled out any number of inane things that riders do when they are on these rides), the ride would never be in operation.


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Monday, November 30, 2015 10:15 PM
rollergator's avatar

Universal has gone overboard with the "no loose articles" concept, but I'm still torn on the restraints on Dudley's Flume. I thought it was way too much initially, but we never know about all the times something bad *could have happened* but didn't.


You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

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Tuesday, December 1, 2015 12:19 AM

Jeff said:

I've often wondered how it is that Disney manages to give so many rides without incident, with rides that offer far fewer restraints and procedures.

Completely agree. I can rattle off a dozen or so WDW rides without restraints that could do real damage to a guest who decides to jump out. Pirates, Jungle Cruise, or any of the omni-mover rides for that matter. I too am shocked that you don't hear of more incidents considering the millions that click through the WDW turnstiles every year.

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Tuesday, December 1, 2015 1:00 AM

Hanging n' Banging said:

Jeff said:

I've often wondered how it is that Disney manages to give so many rides without incident, with rides that offer far fewer restraints and procedures.

Completely agree. I can rattle off a dozen or so WDW rides without restraints that could do real damage to a guest who decides to jump out. Pirates, Jungle Cruise, or any of the omni-mover rides for that matter. I too am shocked that you don't hear of more incidents considering the millions that click through the WDW turnstiles every year.

Disney use different methods to keep track of guests, but even then that can't be enough sometimes. Hidden things such as intrusion beams on Space Mountain lifts and pressure mats on Haunted Mansion are a few examples. The pressure mats are so sensitive that just dropping a big umbrella or a heavy souvenir bag off the side of the doombuggie and onto the mat will e-stop the ride and then, a cast member will run to that location to see what happened. Only when he returns will the ride be reset and sent out again.

Disney World Splash Mountain had a major issue with guests stepping out of the log and even had a death on drop 3 when someone fell into the flume. The original fixed lap bar/handbar did not do enough to deter riders from standing up or exiting so a few years back, those handbars were replaced by the Tokyo Splash Mountain lap bars. Now unlike Tokyo which had load and unload stations designed for the cast members to check those bars, it is a litteral pain in the back for the cast members who need to bend down and make sure the bars are down correctly.

P.S: Tokyo Disneyland went one step further in 2014 and replaced the single lap bar per row by individual U bars. Kids 35 inches high can now ride... but anyone over 6 feet will struggle to get the new bars over their knees.

Last edited by Absimilliard, Tuesday, December 1, 2015 1:02 AM

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Tuesday, December 1, 2015 10:47 AM
Jeff's avatar

Cast members do not bend down to check bars on Splash Mountain, or any ride at WDW. They ask the guests to do it.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Tuesday, December 1, 2015 10:44 PM

bigboy said:

If the operator at the top of a flume lift e-stopped the ride every time a rider acted scared or said they were scared (or yelled out any number of inane things that riders do when they are on these rides), the ride would never be in operation.

Having worked at log flumes back in this day, this is definitely true. You even get parents that demand the ride be stopped because their kid is scared, but the policy was just to remind them to stay seated. E-stopping a log flume causes all sorts of problems and safety issues when the logs back up at the lifts. Even stopping the lift belt that's part of the block system would be a bad move unless there was some major medical emergency or something like that.

Sadly, a similar incident happened at Mall of America in the late 90s. Kid panicked at the drop and tried to climb out and fell. Remember the news making a big deal that there wasn't seatbelts on the ride back then.

http://www.nytimes.com/1998/08/03/us/national-news-briefs-boy-dies-...-mall.html

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Wednesday, December 2, 2015 11:17 AM

Jeff said:

Cast members do not bend down to check bars on Splash Mountain, or any ride at WDW. They ask the guests to do it.

A little off topic, but I always have found this practice interesting and I'd be curious to know if anyone knows the rationale behind it. At my park (and every other park I know) the standard is for the ride operator/attendant to physically check each restraint/lap bar before dispatching the ride.

Wonder why WDW is so against this grain?

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Wednesday, December 2, 2015 12:41 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

Because they can be. Many other companies buries don't even have gates at rides. Most people, given the chance would or should have common sense to know to be as safe as possible. When given the option at Disney, the normal is that you're used to making sure you're locked in.


cebeavers.tumblr.com

Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

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Wednesday, December 2, 2015 12:56 PM

Which is fine until someone does the unnormal. What I wonder is how does Disney protect themselves against that? Seems like if something ever happens at Disney that it would be a slam dunk case for a prosecutor to simply say "So let me get this straight - you rely on the guest to make sure his/her safety device, if there is even a safety device, is working properly on this ride?"

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Wednesday, December 2, 2015 12:59 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

And Disney can and will and likely have argued that they see a billion people each year and this person just happens to be a dumbass.

Last edited by Tekwardo, Wednesday, December 2, 2015 1:07 PM

cebeavers.tumblr.com

Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

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Wednesday, December 2, 2015 1:06 PM

And that is the disconnect with the safety mantra that apparently the rest of the world works under. Protect everyone at all costs. If other businesses and industries have to put the stupid warning label on a chainsaw that says "Warning - not to be used for shaving facial hair" how does Disney get away with doing nothing?

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Wednesday, December 2, 2015 2:07 PM
Jeff's avatar

Seriously though, how would you even take a locked restraint? No one has the motor skills to simulate lifting the bar to a hard stop. If the operator sees it, it's no different than having touched it to do the same.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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