Decapitation at SFoG

^^^A lawyer by 10:00 am Monday morning? They probably had lawyers contacting them before the train that hit him made it back to the station.

Life is an amusment park -and I can't get off of the damn spinning teacups!

Jeff said:
Those external fences are the kind that are really hard to climb because of the lack of horizontal points you can get your feet on. The kids really had to work at it to get over those. I think the best fences (and honestly, we're talking about fences intended to ward off stupid people), are those that Cedar Fair seems to use everywhere... the black fences like these. There's no climbing over those.

Hate to disagree with you but climbing fences isnt nearly as hard as you might think. Though perhaps I couldnt do it now, but when I was 17 I had considerable upper-body strength compared to my weight so if I could somehow jump up and grab ahold of the top of a fence, it would have been a trival matter to pull myself up. Especially when you consider whether there are 'horizontal footholds' or not, simply pressing with your feet against the fence will often give you enough of a 'foothold' due to friction. I have, in my past climbed fences that looked to have no footholds.

Some of the posts here are in very poor taste. That said, I consider tragedy to be something horrible that happens to you for reasons outside of your control. In that respect, I don't think it's a tragedy as far as the kid is concerned. For the parents, sure.

This I totally agree with, whether you think the kid "deserved it" or whatever adjective you see fits, surely we can all agree that for the family/friends/onlookers/etc. this was something traumatic that happened to them that was beyond their control, thus the term "tragic" is applicable.

lata, jeremy
PlaceHolder for Castor & Pollux

Yes, there ARE scientific studies that state that teenagers, up until they are in their 20's actually sometimes, have a different sense of danger, and also what is right and what is wrong. The area of the brain that determines judgment is not fully developed. Kids this age have a much greater sense of black and white when it comes to right and wrong, and they also don't have as much of a mental compass for what is morally/physically acceptable. I am wording this wrong, but it has something to do with the driver's license thing and why some states ARE making kids wait another year to two years to get their licenses. PA changed it to 17, I believe.

I didn't know that the McDonald's lady had her settlement reduced to under a million...she originally got something like 4 or 8 million dollars. I also didn't know that she had to get skin grafts. I spoke in ignorance, and I apologize.

I DO agree that we need to stop with the what-ifs. The fact of the matter is that the kid was NOT mentally disabled. He made a stupid decision that may have not seemed all that dangerous to him, and it cost him his life.

Okay, the pun about numbskull/no-skull was a little heinous, dude. I snickered and then immediately was contrite.

Rct47, you're totally right. Some kids WERE raised right. They know to not disobey the rules and to kind of keep it on the straight and narrow. If I had been in this situation as a kid, I would have been the one saying, no, you can't do this. Then I would have been standing on the correct side of the fence watching in horror as my friend died. However, at a young age, no matter what the consequences, I don't think I would have thought beyond the fact that my parents would kill me if I got busted and kicked out of an amusement park. Even raised right, my concern would have been only for THAT fact, not the fact that I could possibly be decapitated by an oncoming train. Therein lies my point about the skewed sense of fear and danger that teenagers possess biologically.

Last thing: people mentioned possibly that the church was at fault for not properly chaperoning these kids. One, what school or church does ANYONE go to that thinks it is necessary to chaperone 17 and 18 year olds? Plus, some chaperones are as bad as the kids (case in point, I was at a Six Flags park and a school group of about 50 kids was there. Every single last one of these kids were line jumpers. I had about 10 of them cut in front of me at El Toro. Then the CHAPERONE proceeded to line jump me as well. When the security guard busted the chaperone--he didn't see the kids do it--he YELLED at the security guard and said he was a "damn chaperone"). Him and his little minions got to stay where they were. I don't think the church could possibly be at fault for this accident. Can you sue a church anyway? I seriously don't know--anyone?

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

First and foremost, my condolences to the family of this young man.

Second, as a business owner, a lawsuit in this situation will definitely anger me. No one wants to take responsiblity for their own actions any more.

Regardless, this situaiton is bad for all of us, as it puts another "black eye" on the industry we all support.

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

Say you go to the Grand Canyon to sightsee and you get too close to the edge and fall down the canyon..

Is it the states fault in which you are in because they didnt have a fence up to prevent that from happening?

Question. This is the same ride that a few years back the mechanic guy got killed right?

If so I'm sure the fences and warning signs have been totally beefed up.

I guess we will have motion detectors out there from now on so the ride automatically shuts down for movement with in the coaster foot print.


Jeff's avatar

bucknut08 said:
This picture is enough to prove there will be a lawsuit, and the family will probably win... a burglar sneaks in to steal whatever, and cuts himself on a power tool, he can sue, and will win, because the owner didn't give enough care to protecting the general public from dangerous things within his garage.
And that's based on your expert legal opinion and your well researched case law, right?

Leave the law to lawyers. You don't know what you're talking about.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog

DantheCoasterman said: Oh, and I'm sure that the family will get something out of this. If a kid at our school can get $120,000 for getting expelled after bringing beer to a dance, there's no doubt a death will bring these people millions...

Agreed, I know we can all sit here and look at this story, and say, "Six Flags isn't in the wrong here, any case that's comes out of this will come to nothing." Were all looking at this whole story pretty logically, but remember, if a case does come out of this, it will be tried in the court system in the United States.

That means the family of this kid could end up getting $50m while Six Flags gets completely buried.

By the way, Theme Park Insider has an articles with updates too.

Actually Jeff, no, I'm not a expert, but that was an EXACT example from my law class. A debate broke out discussing what the outcome would be and my professor (a defense attorney of 20+ years) said that the homeowner would be held liable in court. So no, it's not my expert opinion, but what I was told by an expert lawyer.

I guess I would take back that "this picture is proof" but I don't think it would be hard to find a lawyer that would try to "make a case."

Just take it for what it is. All I'm saying is don't be surprised if you see this show up in court, if the family is out to make a buck.

eightdotthree's avatar
I am the road and on my iPhone, those photos make it look like a 4 foot fence surrounds the ride. Are there bigger fences around the low areas? I am thinking of the way SFGAdv surrounds Superman.

Sad situation for the family. The chain doesn't need it either.

Mamoosh's avatar
It's not difficult to get info on the internet. This is on 17-year-old park visitor was killed after scaling two fences -- one of which was six feet tall -- around the Batman roller coaster, park spokeswoman Hela Sheth said in a statement.
We are just a little over 24 hours removed from this accident and we have debated "tragic" (my fault apparently), blamed the "stupid victim", questioned the safety of an entire chain of parks, argued the "inevitable lawsuit", compared this to other accidents and I could go on and on.

The internet can be used for so much good...and so much crap. It startles the mind.

eightdotthree's avatar
I realize what has been said by the media. I am looking at photos of the ride on a small screen and it looks like a small fence to me.

Mamoosh's avatar
Wahoo - I had brunch with a group of friends this morning (all non-enthusiasts) and when one of them brought it up our conversation was virtually identical (i.e. debated tragic & stupidity of the deceased, discussed safety, and talked about the inevitable lawsuit, etc.).

That's a real-world example...why should what happens here be any different? *** Edited 6/29/2008 11:59:41 PM UTC by Mamoosh***

Well, I would argue that the real world is regularly and badly influenced by what we see on the net now so I guess that doesn't surprise me.

I'm just sort of shocked at the callous way this is being discussed...before the deceased is even in the ground. As someone else pointed out though...people handle things differently.

After my area was hit by a pretty significant hurricane we had people injured, property destroyed, power out for a couple of weeks and...what feedback did I get as a government employee? What can't you open the parks so we can play soccer? Well, ummm....we just had a massive storm. Can you give us a few days? Where did the most uncostructive and ugly criticism come? The internet. I don't know if we have become ugly because of the internet or we are just ugly therefore we are ugly on the internet. I suppose it doesn't matter which came first.

Mamoosh's avatar
Huh? Are you saying my friends and I act differently then we would had we never had access to the internet?...that somehow the fact that we read the internet somehow makes us more callous?


Well, maybe you and your friends were callous before the internet.

No, that isn't what I'm saying. But, I do think the internet has served to desensitize us. Here a young man died (his fault, of course) in a pretty horrific way and we all moved into the courtroom stage in less time than it takes to do an autopsy. Yes, I do think the internet has had some impact on that.

Here are some more details from the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Summary: they were re-entering the park from a boundary, rather than having to go all the way to the entrance. Two fences, both six feet.

Jeff's avatar
People used to say the same thing about TV and newspapers before that. You can't blame it on the Internet. Bad stuff happens all of the time, and in epic proportions. We're disconnected from most of it. I think it's a human coping mechanism to not be brought down by it all.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog

matt.'s avatar

wahoo skipper said:
I'm just sort of shocked at the callous way this is being discussed...before the deceased is even in the ground.

People die every day, and on the "tragic" scale getting decapitated by a roller coaster after jumping over 2 6 foot fences is pretty low. For me. YMMV.

What I find more disturbing is the folks like you who seem to have some sort of authority on how I'm supposed to feel about the incident, or how I'm supposed to react, or how long we have to wait until it's appropriate to talk about related issues, or what my emotional capacities are, etc etc etc. React however you want, personally, but to expect me to be mournful over the completely preventable death of someone I don't know and never will? Sorry man, I don't have that kind of time in my day. If I did I wouldn't have time for anything else considering hundreds of people all around us are being killed in car accidents as we speak.

That doesn't have anything to do with the internet, that's about having priorities. Getting torn up about a stranger's death, especially when he brought it upon himself just isn't high up on the list for me. Otherwise wouldn't you just go crazy? It's a horrible thing to read about for his family and friends but I just don't understand what else I can do on an internet message board, you know? *** Edited 6/30/2008 1:16:45 AM UTC by matt.***

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