Girl struck by cell phone on Six Flags Magic Mountain roller coaster

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

The parents of an eight year old girl are furious after their daughter was injured at Six Flags Magic Mountain after being struck in the face by a cellphone while riding a rollercoaster. They are now demanding that the park take stronger action to prevent this from happening to anyone else.

Read more and see video at KNBC/Los Angeles.

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Jeff's avatar

The thing about these sorts of accidents is that they don't need lockers and metal detectors and all that... just make it part of rider responsibility laws. The park saying "don't do that" has no teeth.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog

hambone's avatar

On the one hand, they're so strict about this at SFGA that, if they have the same protocols in place at SFMM, there's no way someone could say "I didn't know."

On the other hand, if they really want to reduce people carrying phones, etc., on rides, making lockers free (or building them into the gate) would certainly remove an obstacle. (No idea, of course, if the perp in this case was trying to take selfies or videos or call mom, which isn't only a matter of cost.)

ApolloAndy's avatar

Twisted Timbers had a pretty draconian lose article policy where you had to go through a metal detector to get into the station. Of course, they did have the free two sided lockers, but I still thought it was excessive. But then again, I've never been hit in a head by a phone.

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

I have cargo shorts and zipped pockets.

Mandatory lockers and metal detectors sap my enthusiasm for the hobby.

I don’t believe in frivolous lawsuits but the cell phone owner should be and is liable for this. Locate the cell phone and file suit against the owner. That will get people to secure their junk.

I usually skip the RMCs because of the strict no loose article’s policy. Even with free lockers. Not leaving my wallet in a locker. Because people can’t be responsible with their loose articles it’s resorted to that kind of policy.

Last edited by super7*,

You go ahead and skip those RMCs, while I on the other hand will be happy to comply. I use zippered pants pockets when I can but if I know everything is safely stowed elsewhere it’s rather liberating. On Steel Vengeance or Velocicoaster I’ve never had the nagging fear that I was going to lose my stuff, that’s for sure.
Speaking of Steel Vengeance I went to CP on the last Thursday and took advantage of walk up conditions on the big rides for the first couple of hours. The only delay that I experienced was the bottle neck caused by guests who didn’t know what they were doing with the lockers. Not that they should be familiar with every policy, but in that case I’m gonna say they were stupid for missing it. It’s clearly posted, the ops at the entrance called out details as did another ride op or two as we approached the lockers. And still- people were caught by the screener with everything they brought with them in their pockets which caused them to go back with confused or irritated looks on their faces. They weren’t just kids, they for the most part were adults, moms and dads.
I’ve noticed both Steel Vengeance and Velocicoaster have great station crews and fast operations once riders are past and have dealt with the lockers. And maybe that really bothers members of our community, and that’s fine, but I don’t get it. Those guys are probably just as irritated with bins in the station and the troubles (especially stacking) that they cause. So I don’t know what the solution is, but it seems like when people are trusted to police themselves then stories like this happen.

You can't trust people but at the same time everything you need for the park is on your phone (tickets, flash pass, wait times, etc.) Food ordering is done through the app in many parks now too.

Lockers alone won't work. When we went to Universal Orlando we needed our park ticket to scan in and out of the locker at Hagrid, Gringott's, Mummy, and MIB. You know, the park ticket that was on our phones.

Jeff's avatar

It's ironic, right? The whole point of an experience in meatspace to me is to unplug and be among humans, and they don't want you to have the device on rides. And yet, you can't do anything anymore without the device, including go to a theme park.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog

Couldn't agree more. I want less connection to the interwebs, not more. This as I just got back from Costco where they sell a $90 pair of warming socks that connect to your phone. Socks.

bjames's avatar

I’m all in favor of parks providing the names of these morons to the injured parties so that they may pursue suing their asses off. Who paid for this poor girls medical expenses? Should be the clowns that felt they were above the rules. It’s a form of assault. Does anyone know if a park guest has ever sued another guest over this sort of thing?

"The term is 'amusement park.' An old Earth name for a place where people could go to see and do all sorts of fascinating things." -Spock, Stardate 3025


Lockers alone won't work. When we went to Universal Orlando we needed our park ticket to scan in and out of the locker at Hagrid, Gringott's, Mummy, and MIB. You know, the park ticket that was on our phones.

There's at least one ride out there with mandatory lockers outside of the queue/ride area – that exits through a gift shop. Genius really.

Assuming her parents have health insurance (most people do), her medical costs would be paid for by that health insurance. Insurance company has subrogation rights against the person who caused the injury. But based on what sound like minor injuries, wouldn't expect they would pursue that claim.

Parks have liability risk with this (in litigation, you want to sue solvent parties and parks are more liquid than average guests). If they do nothing, they may be contributorily negligent. Want to take reasonable steps to prevent it from happening. Something of a sliding scale there in terms of what is reasonable. Post a sign at entrance to the park probably not enough. Have metal detectors before people get on rides probably is.

If its not there already (indirectly if not directly), expect that assault and battery statues will get there eventually for criminal liability to exist. Expect California to be one of the first to get there.

Expect that parks will eventually figure out how to make both rides and phones work together. From the park perspective, reliance on tech isn't likely to decrease going forward so they have every reason to make it work. Though as they say build a better mouse trap and the world will provide a better idiot.

Want to know a terrible locker policy, look at Wonder Woman at SFMM. It's not the fact you can't have anything with you, but the free "lockers" they force you to use do not lock and anybody can take whatever. Unless you pay for the all day or single time use lockers.

We did it early enough and it was dead so I wasn't as worried, but like why not just add proper free lockers from the get go? Oh Six Flags...

Jeff's avatar

This story is literally about that ride.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog

Yeah, oops. Long day.

Wonder if that is why the other day they had an employee telling everyone all loose articles must be locked up near the locker area, saying no phones/keys/wallets/etc... Weird when no other ride was really like that. Makes sense now depending when this occurred.


And still- people were caught by the screener with everything they brought with them in their pockets which caused them to go back with confused or irritated looks on their faces.

I go to an amusement park to relax.

No matter how you might try to frame it, security screening is not a relaxing process – and with the best will in the world people occasionally forget things.

I've taken more than 500 flights in my career. This past summer I accidentally left a water bottle in my carry-on luggage that was caught at security.

I was more embarrassed than irritated or confused, but if I can do that, so can anyone.

Once I got caught with a safety razor and it’s open blade in my carry-on. It was accidental, I packed it without giving it a thought, and still I thought I was going to jail. Or at least would be missing my flight and neither of those things would be considered relaxing.
But I’m referring to those who carried their wallets, phones and keys onto the ride, accidentally or not. And my point was that I can’t imagine anyone not hearing and understanding what was expected of all riders instead.

I don't blame Cedar Point one bit for their strict locker policy. If you don't like it, tough.

The same people whining about leaving their stuff will be the same ones whining when they get hit on the head by a Cellphone.

Raven-Phile's avatar

If you DON'T whine, and more, after getting hit in the head with a cell phone on a roller coaster - you're probably not human.

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