Cedar Point WildCat crash injures seven

Posted Tuesday, June 7, 2011 11:51 AM | Contributed by Raven-Phile

Seven people suffered bumps and bruises, but no serious injuries after two cars collided in the station on Cedar Point's WildCat. Four people were treated at the first aid station and another three were taken to Firelands Regional Medical Center as a precautionary measure. There they were treated and released.

Read more from The Sandusky Register.

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011 12:32 PM

I've always thought that this ride came to an abrupt stop in no time at all. I don't know if they do it anymore, but years ago the ride op at the end of the platform used to act like they were riding and holding on tight in a brace yourself kind of gesture..Well looks like a car or two will be missing from wildcat in the near future. Which probably isn't a bad thing as it will put less cars in that station block.

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011 12:39 PM

If the bump was serious enough to send people to the hospital, I assume then it was on the unload platform. I would think that's an unlikely place for that to happen, if a car is unloading the next incoming should stop before it. I guess I don't remember exactly if it slows, then stops, and if it can be stopped prior to the unload point.

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011 1:02 PM

What happened last time on WildCat? Was that a roll-back?

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011 1:55 PM

I think so... a car slid backward down the lift some distance.

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011 1:58 PM

I really like WildCat, but I'm not sure it's aging so well these days.

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011 2:11 PM

I like Wildcat too. One of my favorite parts is that intense braking at the end and the ride op miming the brace position.

Although, it may take some time for my brain to get back to "brace for stop" rather than "brace for impact."

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011 4:11 PM

I just rode it at coaster mania and it was stopping on a dime in the brake run. All the idiots from toilet paper review are screaming tear it down! IMO its the smoothest coaster at CP and one of my favorite coasters at the point.I think they should fix the problem and open it right back up.

Last edited by gamerguy, Tuesday, June 7, 2011 4:13 PM
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Tuesday, June 7, 2011 4:24 PM

Someone mentioned on PointBuzz that it is, in fact, operating again.

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011 4:32 PM

Wildcat has a ton of 'blocks'. I can't remember the number, but it's something like 12. For training, we had these big poster boards with magnetic 'cars' or 'trains' (for the other coasters) and it was a long training process in the office before you ever touched the ride. You also had to pass the written exam as well.

The thing about Wildcat is cars get stuck on those brakes at the end of the ride, and sometimes another car will come in and bump it. Remember - brake pads get replaced and have different 'wear' patterns, etc. Add freshly greased wheels, varying loads, humidity, and the crew really has to be on their game. It was always an all - male crew, they have to sometimes pull the cars off that brake when they get stuck.

(I'm sure times have changed, and plenty of women could handle the ride - and would want to. This was also a time when most of the crews were all men or all women to cut down on in-crew 'attractions'. I'm pretty sure CP/CF and most parks have figured out that is not always the case, by now).

Whats really strange, I had a dream last night I was back on the Blue Streak crew, and we had a train shoot the station in a storm. Weird!

Like the news said, no body was seriously injured. My little guys were probably more hurt when an overzealous employee at SFNEngland stapled me a bit too hard on the Superman back in 2006 - but that didn't make the news!

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011 6:34 PM

Isn't there a computer preventing the ride from entering an un-cleared block? I imagine back in the old days, these mega-blocked rides were governed by mechanical means...but you can't have cars "bumping" too frequently (even though blocks by necessity have to happen at continually decreasing heights and therefore typically involve fairly low speeds) - save for that last brake, which really is "catching" the car going along at a pretty decent clip.

Have to note how similar Wildcat cars' design appears like a bumper car...

Last edited by rollergator, Tuesday, June 7, 2011 6:35 PM
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Tuesday, June 7, 2011 7:00 PM

^^CoasterDemon thanks for all that info, just curious is the block/safety system on Wildcat overseen by a computer? I noticed the blocks when riding the old Wildcat at Prince Edward Island a couple of summers ago and it looked like there were a bunch of manual block triggers in near the loading area. Also the block system looks like it was added to the ride later on. Everything about the ride seemed to be manually triggered so couldn't see how the block system would kick in if there was a problem.

I used to ride the old Riverside/SFNE Wildcat over and over as a kid. It was my favorite gorwing up so always had a soft spot for these coasters.

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011 8:13 PM

Great info, Billy! Thanks. I worked for two days on Wildcat, but can't really remember anything about it.

Toilet Paper Review. Classic, gamerguy... Classic!

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011 8:24 PM

http://www.wkyc.com/news/article/193000/3/Cedar-Point-reopens-coaster-

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011 9:08 PM

^gator and Cropsey, I dunno if the ride has been updated with a newer system. I think most of the oldies had a basic logic system; brake open/brake closed kinda thing. Even with a new system, cars are still gonna get stuck on that final brake.

I haven't been to the park since 2000. Which brings up my private inner pain of the Blue Streak :) The computerified updated system was one thing, the trains was another. And right after the presentation of ACE 'classic coaster' plaque. Nope, still not 'over it'. They really chopped up a beauty of a ride. And Geauga, and Laser. Yup, it still hurts :(

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011 9:14 PM

So, they made an adjustment to the coaster's braking system. First drop trim? :)

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011 9:17 PM

Maybe it's just me, but it seems like CP has had more accidents over the past several years than in the past....nothing major though fortunately

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011 10:18 PM

It's just you.

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011 10:55 PM

Thanks again for the info CoasterDemon. It sounds like the block breaks are just manual back up in case a car needed to be stopped midcourse rather than a computer monitored system. I don't remember seeing any prox switches for or photo eyes that would indicate a computer was monitoring the various blocks.

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Wednesday, June 8, 2011 2:19 PM

Wildcat got a new control system some years ago, and I presume that it now has PLC oversight. It uses photo eyes on the blocking points to positively identify car positions, and also uses other switches for block control.

I don't know details of the control, but I know it has received controls updates, which is why it is able to run all those cars, unlike the other Wildcats out there that run fewer cars because they lack a failsafe automatic blocking system.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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