It's been ten years....

Friday, May 31, 2013 3:50 PM

The "Night of Silence" at Holiday World. Stark Raven Mad 2003. It was one of the best gatherings I had ever attended. Friendly Staff, Great Food, Free Soft Drinks and Sunscreen. And of course two of the best Roller Coasters on this planet, Raven and Legend. The previous evening I did most of my riding on the Legend, so on this evening I was going to concentrate on the Raven. I was eating supper, waiting for the park to close to the General Public and for our ERT to begin. Then Mrs Koch came up and said "I have TERRIBLE News to report, there's been an accident on the Raven, a woman was ejected from the train, she's being taken to the hospital, but the prognosis is not good. She announced Stark Raven Mad 2003 was over, and we all walked out in silence.

We later found out the woman was a Member of ACE, apparently she stood up on the Raven and fell out. ACE received a Black Eye because of this, and Holiday World did not have any gatherings until 2006.

Feel free to discuss this day of infamiy, where you attending SRM 2003? Were you on the way to visit the park, only to find out the park was closed while an investigation took place, or where you just minding your own business when you heard about it on the news, or on the web.


Answer my Prayers, Overbook my next Flight!
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Friday, May 31, 2013 5:06 PM
Jeff's avatar

Actually, the first event was the CoasterBuzz Fall Affair in 2005.

In some ways, it was a turning point because enthusiasts acted less as entitled douchebags after that. Some continued to do stupid things, or even make tasteless jokes about the accident. Regardless, people need to remember that these are machines you hve to respect, whether you're an enthusiast or not. We should be setting an example.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Friday, May 31, 2013 5:24 PM
Vater's avatar

Yep, SRM 2003 was my first (of two) enthusiast event. Had a great time until Saturday night.

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Friday, May 31, 2013 9:54 PM

It was right about this time (A Few minutes before closing time (9:00 PM Central Daylight Time) the incident occurred. :(


Answer my Prayers, Overbook my next Flight!
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Friday, May 31, 2013 11:29 PM
Jeff's avatar

And why exactly are you so intent on dwelling on it?


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Friday, May 31, 2013 11:33 PM

I just wanted to see what others felt about this incident, that's all. IMO the "Night of Silence" was to Coaster Enthusiasts what 9/11 was to this country.


Answer my Prayers, Overbook my next Flight!
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Friday, May 31, 2013 11:48 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

No. It wasn't.


Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
-- Groucho Marx

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Friday, May 31, 2013 11:51 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

You're comparing the death of one person who made a terrible choice to the deaths of thousands who lost their lives in the single largest failure of national security in America's history. I'm sorry. They're not the same.


Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
-- Groucho Marx

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Saturday, June 1, 2013 12:02 AM
Jeff's avatar

Agreed. Hyperbole doesn't even begin to describe that comparison.

I remember that night pretty well. I got drunk in the campground and had as good of a time as could be expected given the circumstances. Some people seemed to believe that was a poor choice, but you know what, it was another of a handful of rare opportunities to see a lot of people I didn't normally see otherwise, with a pretty grim reminder that we're all going to be worm food eventually. Seemed like pretty good reasons to make the most out of it.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Saturday, June 1, 2013 12:03 AM
Vater's avatar

It was an awful night to be sure, but the emotions I felt then compared to 9/11? Pretty much not in the same solar system.

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Saturday, June 1, 2013 12:48 AM
sirloindude's avatar

Another thing to remember is that 9/11 was an act of terrorism. This, if I remember correctly, was an enthusiast trying to increase the severity of some airtime.

I wasn't there. I read about the situation in ACE News, I think. Honestly, I was upset because of what caused the problem, but honestly, in a situation like this, I just feel sorry for all the people affected from such a, in a word, stupid act. To know that you lost a loved one because of some reckless behavior that a little self-control could have prevented is a feeling that makes me sick to even think about.


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Saturday, June 1, 2013 1:13 AM

It was a tragic event, for sure. But I don't see it as significantly different from a fatal racing accident at a club track rental. I'd be inclined to say it was tragic on the same level of a reckless driver racing their car on the highway.

I do know that it reminded me of the amount of power these machines have that we sometimes take for granted.


RIP Geauga Lake 1888-2007
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Saturday, June 1, 2013 1:30 AM
nasai's avatar

I was there.

I spent the evening, meeting all new friends, with the exception of Bass and Moosh. I was able to spend a lot of time around the campfire, both nights, with our webmaster, and it was a special time. All I know is this: it was tragic that she died, but our time together in the evenings before the death and after were almost magical and reminded me why I enjoy this hobby so much... it's about the people. Always has been.


The Flying Turns makes all the right people wet - Gonch

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Saturday, June 1, 2013 1:58 AM
HeyIsntThatRob?'s avatar

I remember that night pretty well. I had to work the night before so I was looking forward to the ERT for my very first (and apparently last) SRM. Of course ERT was cancelled so I demanded my money back because I was entitled to ERT...

Nah! Just kidding! I got drunk with Jeff and Rob and made the best of it with friends.

Seriously, why make a big deal out of this and compare it to 9/11? I didn't see anyone flying a plane into Raven. I was probably drinking too much.

~Rob

Last edited by HeyIsntThatRob?, Saturday, June 1, 2013 1:59 AM
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Saturday, June 1, 2013 10:33 AM

What I remember is the walk out of the park. The place is usually so full of energy and happiness, but it was so quiet and somber.

I still love hill 5 on the Raven in the back seat, but it feels a little different now.


To being an "us" for once - instead of a "them".

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Sunday, June 2, 2013 12:52 AM
Timber-Rider's avatar

I would not compare it to 9/11 either. But there have been many accidents in the coaster world to be saddened by. Like the people who were killed on the mindbender roller coaster at the west edmonton mall many years ago, before they added over the shoulder restraints. No rider error there.

Also a woman fell out of Zach's Zoomer at Michigan's Adventure while trying to take pictures of her kids, and they never did say what happened to her after that. A roller coaster accident is sad no matter what you compare it to.

Like all the employees who have been struck by coasters and died. It would be very hard to me to remain at a park after someone was killed there. I think they did the right thing in shutting it down.


I didn't do it! I swear!!

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Sunday, June 2, 2013 1:20 AM
bjames's avatar

Unfortunately accidents have to happen before they can be learned from. Although it seems like "don't stand up on a roller coaster" is one lesson that will just not stick with some people.

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Sunday, June 2, 2013 8:33 AM
sirloindude's avatar

Well, on rides like the Phoenix, you often don't have a choice. ;)

Again, I think coaster accidents are sad, but I can't see how I could ever dwell on one. If I did, I'd never ride the things. I especially can't see how people could dwell on accidents caused by the victim's own poor decision-making. It's like that accident on Flight Deck at CGA all those years ago. The person to whom I'm most sympathetic is the poor rider whose leg was broken when the individual who was killed was struck. Think about what that poor person has to live with and it wasn't even her/his fault.

Again, though, I try not to wallow in the sad experiences of life. I have too many happy memories to worry about what happened to the people who made bad decisions on rides and got themselves hurt or killed over it.


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Sunday, June 2, 2013 8:02 PM

Maybe I overreacted comparing the Night of Silence to 9/11, but both incidents do have something in common, things have never been the same since both these events occurred. That was the point I was carrying across.


Answer my Prayers, Overbook my next Flight!
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Sunday, June 2, 2013 9:53 PM
nasai's avatar

Who calls it a Night of Silence? Is that your moniker for that evening?

No offense, but if Holiday World isn't doing anything to remember the night she died, it isn't something worth celebrating or even giving more than a passing glance to. I'm certainly not happy it occurred, and it changed the douche landscape in the community or enthusiasts, but outside of that, the only people that probably really care are the family of the deceased.

Let it go, my friend.


The Flying Turns makes all the right people wet - Gonch

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