Elitch accident had "nothing to do with ride"

Posted Thursday, May 30, 2002 4:58 AM | Contributed by Jeff

John Garlick died tumbling from his favorite ride at Six Flag Elitch Gardens, friends and state officials said Tuesday. But they were baffled over why the 28-year-old developmentally disabled man unbuckled himself while riding the "Rainbow" and plunged to his death Monday. Police say that the accident had "nothing to do with the ride."

Read more from Rocky Mountain News.

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Thursday, May 30, 2002 5:14 AM
It's hard to say for certain, but it sounds like he simply didn't understand to possible results of his actions. An incident like this is unfortunate but not uncommon when dealing with the disabled whether developmentally or physically handicapped. Many of life's "normal" activities involve increased risk, but the alternative is to avoid anything resembling a normal life which is far worse.
Thursday, May 30, 2002 6:41 AM
On the news Elitches said it would like to put "limits" on "handicapped" people but it can't or else they would be charged with racial dicrimination.
Thursday, May 30, 2002 7:12 AM
Honestly, there isnt a real way that a ride operator/attendant can accurately asess the mental capacity of a person. If that person can walk up to the ride, seat herself, and fasten her own restraints, who's to say that she is incapable of riding "unsupervised"? I mean, what? Are we going to now hand out IQ tests with every ticket? That's absurd! Let's just chalk this one up to "it was his time" and move forward.
--Please Disperse!....There's nothing to see!...
Thursday, May 30, 2002 7:25 AM

I found it "aumsing" how the one woman quoted in the atricle said she was not sure if she would ride the Rainbow again.

After the Shockwave accident at PKD a few years back, I remember an official stating, "I can ride in my car safely, but if I undo the seatbelt, open the door, and step out side while going 70mph, something bad is going to happen."

Park's and ride ops are not in the business of giving psychological evaluations on the stop to everyone who sits down in a seat of a ride. However, what I found interesting was that the person accompaning this man escorted him through the line, but was then standing by watching while the accident happened. I am not trying to say any malice on the part of this person, however IF a person needs to be "accompanied through the line", then I think that the person accompaning them should accompany them on the ride as well.

Okay... so I may have just won the "insensitivity award" for 2002 with that one....

Thursday, May 30, 2002 8:14 AM

If someone does truly need to be accompanied through the line then they probably do need to be accompanied on the ride for many adult rides. However, the fact that someone is accompanied through the line does not mean that they necessarily need to be accompanied. We've all seen many non-impared people who are accompanied through the line by friends who bypass the ride. Some rides even have chicken chutes to accomadate this.

Of course since the victem here was a 28 year old man, even someone accompanying him on the ride may have not been able to prevent this incident.

Thursday, May 30, 2002 1:50 PM
This is not the ride ops fault. I feel horrible for the ride op, from no on when ever she is operating a ride she is gonna wonder if there is gonna be another accident. I bet every night she thinks, "if only I had saw it sooner." I guess this means the ride will be staying, because I know it was supposed to reopen today. I honestly thought the ride would go, but I am glad to see it stay.

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