Posted Monday, May 27, 2002 8:38 PM | Contributed by StarCoasters
A man described as "mentally challenged" allegedly released his safety belt and freed himself from the restraints of the Rainbow ride at Six Flags Elitch Gardens yesterday.
Read more from KMGH/Denver.
Proud to be Arrow DYNAMIC!
As pointed out earlier, this is at least the third death of a mentally challanged individual on a thrill ride in the last few years. This raises some really though questions about the safety of certain mentally challanged folks on rides. What is the answer? These folks, if they want to, should be able to enjoy these rides like anyone else.
- Peabody *** This post was edited by Peabody on 5/28/2002. ***
Here's where I get to look like a bad guy, but...
Maybe there should be some sort of restrictions set for guests who are "mentally challenged". There are already height and weight and general size requirements to ride. There are warnings posted about general health conditions such as heart trouble, back pain and pregnancy. Common sense should prevail and it should be up to the individuals helping care for these folks, but perhaps some "suggestions" as to the nature of the ride and potential dangers of letting certain guests ride.
In a case like this, I see no fault at all on the part of Six Flags - how could anyone?
It works with all types of situations. I have a four year old daughter who meets the height requirement for many rides that personally feel are "out of her league". She's tall for her age and is only about an inch and a half away from being allowed to ride the larger coasters such as Steel Force. Never in a million years would I consider sticking a four year old on a coaster of that size. She's just not ready for it, regardless of park requirements. Maybe the people in charge of providing care for this "mentally challenged" individual should have used some common sense. While amusement parks are among the very safest forms of high thrill entertainment out there, I'm often alarmed at the sheer number of people with the attitude of "nothing will happen" and try to slip smaller children on to the larger rides or pay little or no attention to how a ride (and subsequent safety system, including restraints) works and blindly let children or in this case someone who clearly didn't belong in that situation just hop on these rides with little thought.
Bottom line: use common sense.
RCT Downloads, Forums, and More!
(Do not get this confused with a HUSS 1001 Night which has the same ride motion but the riders sit facing each other and a lap bar comes down on you groin. Ouch!)
Chance requests that you pair riders up. Chance also does not have a mandatory seatbelt, on the HUSS versions I rode, neither have they. (but the article states it did have a seatbelt) Anyway, since the seats are so wide and they dont pair up riders, I can see how easy it is to get out from under your bar and become free. Had he been mandatory paired up, this would not have happened. I just wonder if anyone on the ride tried to stop him.
Now, what should parks do about these in the future? Nothing. The seat is very secure with one or two riders (even though singles get tossed quite a bit) This reminds me of the Shockwave incident at PKD (except his screwing around was intentional..... I assume our little friend got scared and tried to get out). The ride will probally get an un-releaseable seatbelt. since the present one was not effective.
Elitch's has a no single riders policy on the Rainbow, everyone is paired up.
jgfama - that would be "he". :)
john peck said: Chance requests that you pair riders up. Chance also does not have a mandatory seatbelt, on the HUSS versions I rode, neither have they. (but the article states it did have a seatbelt)
The Great Escape has this exact same ride, but doesnt have seatbelts for it eithier. They just want riders paired together.
But the presence of a seat belt on the ride is probably a good thing in this case, because to unfasten the seat belt and get thrown off indicates intent. I have long suspected that this is the reason Cedar Point's Ferris wheel has had seat belts for as long as I can remember...you could accidentally pull the door open and fall out, but it's a bit harder to accidentally unfasten the seat belt and fall out.
What I don't get is how he came off the ride. Was he in the front row? At an extreme end? Did he go over the back? Did he run down the stairway at the side of the platform and vault over the door? I always thought it would be quite difficult to fall from a Rainbow just by virtue of the size of the platform!
I don't think this means bad things for Rainbows and Falling Stars. It may mean bad things for outings of groups of mentally challenged individuals at amusement parks, and that would be truly tragic.
--Dave Althoff, Jr.
You must be logged in to post