Kings Island settles suit for 2006 Son of Beast accident

Posted Monday, March 21, 2011 12:29 PM | Contributed by Jeff

Kings Island settled today with a man suing the amusement park for injuries he received during a 2006 accident on the Son of Beast. The two sides settled for an undisclosed amount as jury selection was beginning in the civil lawsuit filed in Warren County Common Pleas Court. A faulty support on the roller coaster was blamed for the jolting ride.

Read more from The Dayton Daily News.

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Saturday, March 26, 2011 9:12 AM

Actually it didn't reopen until 4th of July 2007. I remember because I went down the following weekend. I found it much more rideable with the new trains. Being more rideable, the boring layour was a lot more noticable.

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Saturday, March 26, 2011 10:31 AM

john peck said:
Not sure if it was considered a "crime scene" since there were no fatalities...

Classic! :)

Of the dozens and dozens of times I've been to Kings Island since SOB opened, I've rode it exactly twice. Once, a few weeks after it's opening day, when I vowed never again, and once just before it closed this time, when I again vowed never again.

I've always been interested in why SOB is so terrible. Should Wood coasters just not be that big, or was it the substandard wood used to build the ride, or was it poor design? Maybe a combination of those? Maybe something else? Either way, what could have been an amazing roller coaster has instead turned out to be a piece of crap... A really, really big piece of crap.

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Saturday, March 26, 2011 1:20 PM

Glad you liked my crime scene rebuttal, LostKause, I'm always good for a smile! :) I guess part of me thought that SOB ran for all of 2007, which it apparently hadn't.

Son of Beast is one of my "Never again" rides as well. I rode it say, 7 or 8 times with the premier trains—which just wrecked my legs, and a few times after that with the Myrtle Beach G-Trains—which actually improved my comfort and I found more re-ridable.

What stopped me from riding from my last experience in mid 2008 was it shook me so hard on the Rose Bowl, that I actually felt my heart—or at least something shaking in my chest area, and at that moment I vowed to not ride it again, until something has changed.

To answer your question LostKause, I think there is a combination of things that make this unsuccessful, with the design and construction being bad from the start with bad transitions, notably the second hill before the rose bowl where the train shifts and slides (Mean streak Has a similar issue).

Last edited by john peck, Saturday, March 26, 2011 1:21 PM
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Sunday, March 27, 2011 12:56 AM

LostKause, I suspect that a big part of the problem is Herr Stengel's engineering.

In many ways it seems that Son of Beast was designed like a steel coaster, with some concessions made for its wood construction. The trouble is, it does not and cannot operate like a steel coaster. It's a wood coaster that operates like a wood coaster, and that the train does things that steel coasters are not expected to do. Like that jerk that John is talking about at the top of the second hill. It does that because it is a wood coaster. You put that same element on a steel coaster, the difference in the way the chassis handles the track means it will work great on a steel coaster; on the wood coaster it loses energy and hurts people.

The other problem of course is that it's a pretty boring layout. There were two design requirements from the beginning that put constraints on the whole ride. First was the loop; second was the insistence on using 6-passenger trains to match The Beast. Because of the length of the cars, that loop was the absolute smallest loop that the train could manage. In order to get through a 119-foot loop, the train had to have the 220 foot first drop to have enough energy. That 220 foot drop means the train has a certain amount of energy that needs to be expended through the ride. Oh, and I imagine that because of the wood scaffold structure and the rugged terrain of Kings Island may have prompted them to try and limit the range of the construction site to what the two tower cranes could reach, thus limiting the footprint of the ride. Probably why they didn't build a really long out and back section that would have been a much better ride...they couldn't build the towers for a reasonable cost.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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