Girl falls to her death from Oakwood's Hydro giant flume

Posted Friday, April 16, 2004 8:33 AM | Contributed by Damandan

A 16-year old girl fell out of the Intamin giant flume Hydro at Oakwood yesterday, falling about 100 feet to her death. The ride will be closed pending an investigation.

Read more from The BBC.

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Friday, April 16, 2004 8:39 AM
Jeff's avatar Is this the only other ride of its type other than the Knott's ride? If it is, this ride has the single worst safety record of any ride I can think of.

Very, very sad and unfortunate.

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Friday, April 16, 2004 8:56 AM
oh.. come on, dont you think that this drop on this ride is a little to steep? we are so going over board with the tallest, fastest, steepest. longest .. dont you think?
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Friday, April 16, 2004 9:13 AM
No, not at all. If you have the right restraints (being used properly, of course), you can go as steep as you want without incident. In fact, I've ridden said ride eight times in the very last row (2002) with the seat belt and lap bar and never once thought I was in danger....thrilling to fly up in your seat, yes, but never did I think I would be tossed from the ride.

Let's wait til the investigation is complete.

Joe, very saddened to hear this happening again. :(

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Friday, April 16, 2004 9:14 AM
Wow, what a beautiful young girl. It's a frustrating to see this stuff happen over and over again.

"over board"... hm. Has anyone ever died on Top Thrill Dragster, Superman The Escape, Steel Dragon, Millennium Force or Texas Titan, the largest rides out there? Nope. Designers push the envelope, yes, but not at the expense of killing their riders- it's not good business sense.
*** This post was edited by Zero-G 4/16/2004 2:59:58 PM ***

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Friday, April 16, 2004 9:24 AM
This is just so sad. My thoughts and prayers go out to this little girl and her family.

Does anyone have a picture of the restraints used on these rides? After PP and now this incident, it sounds like something else should be put in place.

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Friday, April 16, 2004 10:20 AM
Jeff's avatar It's the same lap bar and seatbelt arrangement you'll find on most of the Intamin coasters. The Plunge accident I chalk up to allowing a rider too big for the restraint to ride, not the restraint itself. Obviously we don't know anything about this accident yet to decide.
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Friday, April 16, 2004 10:43 AM
Was the rider who was ejected from Superman: Ride of Steel at Darien Lake also a large rider?
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Friday, April 16, 2004 10:47 AM
Yes.
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Friday, April 16, 2004 11:26 AM
Large? As in overweight? I hear of these 'large riders getting tossed, and sometimes makes me nervous as I am 6'-4." However, I have yet to feel in danger or nervous while riding anything. I have yet to ride PP yet. At the same time I've been on many other Intamin coasters and fit snug as a bug.

Regardless, very disturbing news. Very unfortunate. My prayers go out to the friends and family.

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Friday, April 16, 2004 11:59 AM
matt.'s avatar Large, in this case, as in, girth-wise. Rotund people. Not height or anything.
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Friday, April 16, 2004 12:05 PM
I bet the people at Cedar Fair are waiting to see the outcome of this investigation.*** This post was edited by Rob White 4/16/2004 11:58:39 PM ***
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Friday, April 16, 2004 12:50 PM
I had always wondered if the restraint being wet had anything to do with anything.
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Friday, April 16, 2004 1:21 PM
I am hugely, massively happy about being stapled on rides like Xcelerator, TTD, S:ROS, etc.

If you're properly proportioned, getting out of an Intamin restraint should require breaking (actually, shattering) your femur, or having the seat/floor suddenly dematerialize. I assume none of those things happened here.

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Friday, April 16, 2004 1:27 PM
Jeff's avatar On Xcel and Dragster, or any of the rides that have the bent vertical bar, I'll agree. However, Millennium Force and some previous rides with the straight vertical touch your wrinklies before the horizontal bar touches your lap. That's bad news in the comfort department.
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Friday, April 16, 2004 2:12 PM
This accident does not look like it was the case of a "fat" person getting ejected like it was on PP. This is a young/fit teenager according to the links.

By the way PP has been retrofitted with 5-point seatbelts since the prior incident. I cannot believe they would not have done the same thing for Hydro. They are the same model aren't they? There is no possible way somebody (dead or alive) could come out of a seat with that seatbelt properly fitted like they have on PP now.

From a pure speculative standpoint, somebody screwed up bad. They either did not fit the 5-point seatbelt correctly, or they did not retrofit this model with the same restraint system after the PP incident. Either way, there was a terrible negligence (this all assumes that these two rides are the same model---which I do not know firsthand).

P.S. The 5-point seatbelts have made the cycle time slower than the Ferris Wheel. My guess is we have seen the last of these 90 degree drop water rides unless they just go to the standard over head restraints.

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Friday, April 16, 2004 2:14 PM
Mamoosh's avatar Hydro was not retrofitted with the harness.
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Friday, April 16, 2004 2:23 PM
Was at oakwood two weeks ago (first day it opend for this season)...Hydro fitted with lap belt and a pull down lap bar. Went on the ride 3 times in a row (there was no q), and i cant see how this happened. Each time, my seatbelt was checked and they made sure lap bar was puched down. I felt quite safe each time... but those 5 point seatbelts would make me feel safer!
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Friday, April 16, 2004 2:57 PM
as stated above the restraints on Hydro consist of a lapbelt and pull down lap bar. ever since the incident on PP the staff on hydro have individually checked the seatbelt of every rider and lowered the lap bar of ever rider (being practically stapled in the ride) so i wouldnt think that is what caused the incident but obviously we cant say much till the police and health and safety issue there report of the incident. its a very sad incident for the park and the family of Hayley Williams
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Friday, April 16, 2004 3:43 PM
I'm the most anti-lawsuit guy I know. I almost always take the side of the park. I realize there is a lot of speculation going on here. However, this seems like the most needless amusement ride death I've heard. There is no way, after what happened with the PP that this could/should have been allowed to happen. They already had one death under this exact restraint system (based upon what some of you are saying). Knotts was never blamed for improper procedures to the best of my memory. They simply found an unacceptable restraint mechanism for the forces of the ride. This was the reason for the retrofit.

IF the speculation and posts are accurate, the parks only hope/defense will be that the rider died (was flaccid) prior to coming out of the restraints. This is a very weak argument to make. I don't know of too many 16 year olds having heart attacks, etc.

Mark this one as a first for me. The park deserves whatever lawsuit/settlement it has coming if the speculation proves true!

*** This post was edited by Jeffrey R Smith 4/16/2004 3:45:02 PM ***

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