Decapitation at SFoG

If most teenagers saw coasters as not being very dangerous, we'd have an epidemic of teenagers being killed by man-eating roller coasters.

That's kind of like saying, most teenagers don't see alcohol as impairing the ability to drive.

There are some things in this world that are simply obvious. These things don't require a certificate from Mensa or a degree from Caltech to realize.

Why are we apologizing for teenagers or people in general who break rules or break laws and then receive the consequences of their actions? No, i don't think the kid deserved to die or deserved to get injured, but there's no way to soften it. It's not the nature of teenagers. It's not the fact that there weren't warning signs covering every square inch of the two fences the kid scaled. It's not the layout of the coaster.

This is a horrible incident that shouldn't have happened and there's no way to explain it as being reasonable.

LostKause, most of us would NOT have done this as kids. It's having respect and fear for warnings and restricted areas. Most of us have that. Most of us would not enter a restricted zone at a nuclear power plant to get materials for a science fair project either.
^^^Put us in our place? You're kidding, right?

We're all saying "How could someone do that?" What do you want to bet the parents think "How could he do that" Get past the grief, shock, sadness, I bet you anything they are/will be as dumbfounded as we are by the action that lead to the death. *** Edited 6/29/2008 3:33:45 AM UTC by Peabody***

Real Cbuzz quote of the day - "The classes i take in collage are so mor adcanced then u could imagen. Dont talk about my emglihs" - Adamforce
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Peabody said:
^^Put us in our place? You're kidding, right?

Sadly, he's not.

Wow, this is unreal... Any loss of life is just awful but this has got to be one of the stupidest, saddest things I've ever heard.
Lord Gonchar's avatar
Here's my thing...and I mean no disrespect, but I often wonder how these people (all incidents like this, not just this kid), once inside the restricted area, still manage to get hit by the coaster train.

It's one vehicle. Anyone with modest street-crossing experience should be able to avoid a single moving vehicle.

Just me?

You're not alone. My dad called me after he saw it on the news (he's an enthusiast too) and he also said something like "How could you not hear the train coming"

Real Cbuzz quote of the day - "The classes i take in collage are so mor adcanced then u could imagen. Dont talk about my emglihs" - Adamforce
LostKause's avatar
Just trying to tone the "stupidity" factor down a little. Sorry it came out sounding so harsh. I'm just trying to figure out why some of you aren't showing an ounce of empathy for the kid or his family. Some of you even seem somewhat excited about the incident. There were even a few "puns" thrown into the conversation.

I find it a little strange.

The idiot at Holidayworld was a complete and total buffoon for doing what she did too. This is absolutely no different, Heck she was a grown adult so if anything it was worse.

What this kid did is no different then someone going out and getting trashed and wrapping themselves around a tree after there drunk butt decides to drive.

It sucks for the family yes, but it does not take away the total asinity of the whole thing.

TO use another example, It's not as if the kid wasn't paying attention and ran a stop sign, the kid ran the stop sign full well knowing it was there and doing it willingly. One is tragic, the other is just plain stupid.

-Brent Kneebush

DawgByte II's avatar
Why WOULD someone show an ounce of empathy for the kid? MAYBE the family, because they have to deal with the loss of their child... but I have absolutely no empathy (to recognize or understand another's state of mind or emotion) for this kid. To jump not one fence, but two?! Add to the factor of the multitude of signs, and the common sense you have at 17... you're asking for trouble.

What's the real cause? We won't know until details emerge, since it's the first day... witnesses will help tell the tale because friends at the scene may try to dictate otherwise. Was it a lost hat, or was he trying to take a short-cut, or was he trying to grab the coaster as it flew by?

Either way, we won't have to deal with him seeding the future of our children... and maybe our future won't be so much like Idiocracy if Darwinism has its way.

OK, to start off, I have to be totally crass here. You can't miss the irony of a kid (possibly) being decapitated while (possibly allegedly) retrieving a lost hat.

Now that that's out of my system... Yes, it is an unfortunate, terrible thing to happen. I feel sorry for the kid's family and friends, the people who witnessed it, the emergency people who responded (what a horrible thing for them to see) and even the park.

Why should they be subject to all the questions and scrutiny, when any sensible person can see they took every reasonable precaution to keep people out of dangerous areas? Out of tens of millions of visitors to theme parks across the country this year, we have 2 who don't understanding what "danger" and "keep out" mean.

If the story about the shortcut is true, there's probably another rule the kids broke. Probably the church group or chaperones wouldn't even think to tell teenagers to stay in the park it's such a no-brainer. Besides, wouldn't most groups have some provision for some kind of food service arranged? What reason would these kids have to leave the park?

Now is Markey going to demand 18' high concrete walls and a moat around every ride? Are we going to hear about how evil parks are because they only put up 6' high fences instead of 8' because they don't want to spend the extra money to keep customers safe?

What other rules and devices will be implemented in parks as a result of this accident? And how much will it cost us parkgoers? Am I being selfish and uncaring here? Damn right. Frankly I'm sick and tired of all our time and money that's been wasted in the cause of trying to make the world idiot-proof for people who can't or won't be responsible for themselves.

CoasterDiscern's avatar
I can feel some serious energy coming from this thread and some of you guys need to relax a bit. I kid has broken the rules and it cost him his life. There is no need to get angry over the thread and slam other people with your opinions. Were sitting down at are computer just like you.

Ask not what you can do for a coaster, but what a coaster can do for you.
Say it with me: Electric fences. Doubt anyone will climb those. ;)

I don't think anyone is saying that it's not sad that someone DIED. It's always sad when a person dies, especially a young one, but it just blows my mind (and apparently many of the other people on this site) that someone could have such a blatant disregard for park safety regulations all for a stupid hat (or a shortcut for that matter).

I HAVE noticed that it seems as if the people who sue are typically the ones who don't deserve the settlement they get (and I am in NO WAY saying the girl from KK didn't deserve a large settlement because she definitely DID), but the ones who actually have a case don't bother. If you think about it, I believe half these deserving victims don't sue because they've seen what happens to others that sue and deserve a settlement and don't get it. Take, for example, the man who had an operation and the docs left a 14 inch retractor blade in his abdomen. He only won $200,000 from the hospital. The retractor caused irreparable scarring from all the surgeries he had to have to remove the blade and to excise infection. Then he had a huge hole permanently in his stomach from all the infection that couldn't be healed, and now he's dying as a result of all this (actually, this happened a while ago, so he's probably dead). Yet the hot coffee lady from McDonalds got millions. This is the world we live in. Shame, right?

The sad part in terms of Six Flags is that even though Six Flags isn't to blame for this, people WILL remain wary and could see this as another reason to not visit Six Flags.

"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

Like DawgByte said, I do feel sorry for the family and the ordeal they are going to be put through, but that kid, actually almost an adult (I mean he could vote in this election if he's close to 18 and that's a darn scary thought people), knew exactly what he was doing. Sad, but I don't pity his consequence.

I think RatherGoodBear also pointed out exactly the case lawyers will bring. "He only had to climb a 6 foot fence. There should be more of a barrier, blah blah blah." I think most reasonable people would feel that crossing 2 fences would negate the responsibility of SF but in today's court systems and judges, it's scary to think...

Although we don't know the whole story, something seems weird about the re-entry theory. From what I remember being at the park, Batman butts up right against the parking lot and there was a lot more than just a 6 foot fence, maybe I'm wrong.

LostKause's avatar
I believe somewhat in an afterlife, so yes I have empathy for the kid. I didn't even realize that what I said there may not make sense to other people, Dawgbyte. Thanks for bringing that to my attention.

I don't believe, nor do I think that anyone else here believes, that the park is responsible with the info we have been given so far. Except for adding the little thing about STOP at KK, the media hasn't been negative towards SF with regards to this story. I really can't see it going that way unless some new news is revealed that would incriminate the park.

Lord Gonchar's avatar

bucknut08 said:
Although we don't know the whole story, something seems weird about the re-entry theory. From what I remember being at the park, Batman butts up right against the parking lot and there was a lot more than just a 6 foot fence, maybe I'm wrong.

Here's a decent look at things.

Aw crap, I just found out about this. What a senseless waste. It IS tragic, whether the kid was being an idiot or not. I just feel so horrible for the kid, his family, and any onlookers that may have been unlucky enough to have witnessed it. As someone who saw a person die horribly, violently, years ago, I can tell you it's not something you forget. Those people are going to be having nightmares for weeks, probably months.

You know what? Teens do stupid things. Maybe the vast majority don't choose playing chicken with a roller coaster for their particular brand of stupidity, but a lot of them find some way or another to be idiots. I can remember all sorts of crap I got into at that age that, if my parents had known, would have caused them to immediately lock me in my bedroom until I was 25. They think they're immortal, that they're gods walking the planet. It comes from having an incompletely developed frontal cortex until reaching the mid-twenties. it comes from peer pressure, from tradition, from inexperience... from I don't know what.

My author website:

LostKause's avatar
Thanks for the link, Gonch.

Does that fence look WAY to low to you all? Even though a kid should know better, it should be at least tall enough to make it seem not worth the effort to climb, imo.

LostKause said:

I really wish the kid's parents would get a CoasterBuzz account so they could put you all in your place.

I'm sure that's pretty high on their list of priorities right now. Look for them to be coming around any minute.

Regardless of the lack of blame on SF (at this point at least), this certainly won't help their rep in the eyes of the general public. Pretty soon you'll have a choice on what to buy with your five dollars; a 20 oz. Coke from a park vending machine or eighteen shares of SF stock.

Pics or it didnt happen. I say its viral marketing for Dark Knight Movie. *** Edited 6/29/2008 6:10:35 AM UTC by DaCoasterMan***

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