Mother and daughter freak-out on Kennywood's Pitt Fall

Posted Wednesday, July 9, 2003 5:08 AM | Contributed by CP ismyhome

The mother of a 10-year old girl says a Kennywood ride operator for Pitt Fall would not stop the ride and let her daughter out when she became scared. The park maintains that the ride sequence had already been started, and that it was the mother who appeared most distraught.

Read more from The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

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Wednesday, July 9, 2003 5:23 AM
Wow - people will do anything to get their name in the news! Headline: Pittsburgh. People are actually scared of thrill rides! Film at 11. Get off of it lady, the article even says your kid didn't appear scared. If she'd have done a little research on the ride before going into her tirade to get her name in the papers and have her 15 seconds of fame, she'd probably have found out that those seat belts weren't installed til after the first year of operation (and I think they're more for "oversized" guests [/struggle to be PC] than for a safety backup).

I think next time I'm there, I'm going on PittFall with my best friend who's terrified of it but rides anyway to make me happy, and when he says "I'm going to die" like he does every time on the lift, I'll make sure to tell USAToday ...

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"As soon as you design something that's idiot-proof, the world will go and design a better idiot."
--Brett

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Wednesday, July 9, 2003 5:26 AM
Aww, boo hoo. It's my policy as a ride op too that if you've waited in line for a ride that looks intimidating, watched it go, then sat down and locked the harness, your riding because deep down inside you, you really want to ride. This lady just wanted her 15 sec of fame.

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"Press down, pull up, and enjoy the rest of your day here at Six Flags over Georgia as we celebrate 30 years of operation at the Great American Scream Machine."

*** This post was edited by Chris the Coaster Freak 7/9/2003 9:27:40 AM ***

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Wednesday, July 9, 2003 5:33 AM
Must have been a slow news day in Pittsburgh.

By the way, the seatbelts were added after someone fell from a similar ride.

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Goccvp1

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Wednesday, July 9, 2003 5:34 AM
I am certain that before this year ends there will be a POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER LAWSUIT Filed Against some park somewhere!

Hell, they've filed suits for everything imaginable in the past, why not stress disorder?

Sam

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never met a coaster I didn't ride (except Junior Geminii)

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Wednesday, July 9, 2003 5:41 AM
Thats a good idea I should try that! Anyone know a good lawyer?
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Joey Ciborek, Florida Coaster Club, Member
"WE RIDE ALL YEAR!!!" www.FloridaCoasterClub.com , www.CoasterJoe.com
2003 Kraken Crew
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Wednesday, July 9, 2003 5:43 AM
You're right, that'd be easier to prove than park negligence because they didn't warn you of an approaching storm and you were hit by lightning.

And you know, I see parents drag their kids on rides all of the time when they don't want to go, and it pisses me off. Do these people not remember what it's like to be a kid? That can screw a kid up for a long time. Wait until your kid is ready and don't pressure them.

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com - Sillynonsense.com
DELETED! What time does the water show start?

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Wednesday, July 9, 2003 5:43 AM
If a ride was stopped every time someone changed their mind at the last minute, no one would ever get to ride!
This happens dozens of times every day in every park.
Good point Chris the Coaster Freak- the ride's been there for quite a while now, so everyone knows what it does. You waited in line, saw it operate, so there really are no surprises when you get on the thing about what's going to happen.

The article went on to say they declined Kennywood's attempt to apologize by refusing free passes to come back later- they were just too scared. Again, isn't that the point of going on any ride- for the thrill?
*** This post was edited by richmmo 7/9/2003 9:45:09 AM ***

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Wednesday, July 9, 2003 5:55 AM
Couldn't of said it better Chris boo-______ hoo. No ones forcing these people to ride. If they don't want to -don't wait in line or don't go to the park.

Even if someone filed a lawsuit, it would probably be dismissed because the person assumed the risk by going on the ride. Unfortunatly, I could see in the future parks start requiring written waivers to be filled out before going into the parks- which would be a pretty sad commentary on our society.

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Wednesday, July 9, 2003 6:04 AM

D'Ambrosio agrees that the family was offered a ride-for-free day at Kennwood, but she said, "I don't want tickets. I don't want a hot dog. I just don't want this to happen to anyone.

"For the next couple of days my kid was attached to me like a Siamese twin. She was scared. She never wants to go back."


Holy hell, woman. Leave the melodrama for the afternoon soaps that you watch.

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-Mike B.
Son of Hulk
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Wednesday, July 9, 2003 6:13 AM
Did anyone read the same article I did?

It's impossible to tell if the mother or the friends coerced the girl on the ride or if she just changed her mind and wanted off. However the mother was freaked out about the unbuckled seat belt, not the ride action itself. She was under the impression that it was the seatbelt that held the OSTR in place. While I do not have a child I can imagine the fear and panic one would have if you *thought* your child was in danger.

That being said, once it was explained to her that the seatbelt was a secondary, redundant safety device she should have should have felt satisfied that her child was indeed safe. I think the park handled this brilliantly but IMHO some of you are being a little insensitive.

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A random Mooshter's Dawntionary listing: Negligent [adj.] - the condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightie.

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Wednesday, July 9, 2003 6:15 AM
Im going today... Ill see if i can get on tv if i say im scared on the turtles.

But really, how can you stand in line for a ride, watch it run, and get on if you're freaked out?

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Wednesday, July 9, 2003 6:41 AM
I agree with Mamoosh. The mom may have overreacted, but it seems some of you are doing the same because she said something 'anti-amusement park.' Sometimes you see stories about outrageous law suits and such. I just don't see that here, and it seems some of you having a knee-jerk reaction. I'm not sure KW is at fault, but I do feel for the lady.

It sounds a little like he said/she said. I say, if someone wants off of a ride before it starts, then let the rider off. Was this particular ride started? Ride op says yes, Mom says no. Who knows? I understand the seat belts are not an original part of the ride, but they are there for a reason. Would Cedar Point launch Power Tower if a seat belt was undone? Is the seat belt on Pitt Fall optional?

I think it's possible that KW could have handled the situation better. But I don't know for sure, because it seems we don't have the whole story.

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Walt Schmidt - Virtual Midway
*** This post was edited by Gemini 7/9/2003 10:47:31 AM ***

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Wednesday, July 9, 2003 6:59 AM
Arggghhhh people piss me off! Dumb people too. If you don't have common sense do not go to a theme park! All these law suites against parks are total bull crap! Going to a theme park is to let you be scared to death with out actually dying! If the girl unbuckled her seat belt she deserved to be scared! Stupid morons!

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Where is Drachen Fire? RIP BIG GUY!

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Wednesday, July 9, 2003 7:19 AM
Is Pitt Fall's optional? No, I've seen a few people told they couldn't ride cause they were too large to get it buckled. Would Power Tower's crew launch without it? Yes - almost did with me on it, except that I knew enough to buckle my own. We never even had a ride-op check our restraints, but see that situation right there, my girlfriend and I could have made just as much of a stink as this woman cause we were scared stiff the entire ride, holding on for dear life (and I never hang on, I'm a hands-up all the way rider) because we never even got a check or an acknowledgement we existed before they shot the ride off (we were on the red side).

I think in a he said/she said between the Mom and the operator, I think a GP mom who's making a stink over her daughter being afraid of a ride has a little less credibility to know when the ride's sequence was started than a ride op who runs the thing day after day for at least a few months of the season by the time this incident allegedly occurred.

I don't think that anyone's being insensitive, I think this woman's being overly sensitive. The park offered her compensation for something that shouldn't even be compensated for, and she rejected it saying basically, no I want my name in the papers. I think this country could do with a little less sensitivity personally ...

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"As soon as you design something that's idiot-proof, the world will go and design a better idiot."
--Brett

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Wednesday, July 9, 2003 7:21 AM
The thing I don't get is why they didn't just reattach the belt???

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Sue Barry
CoasterSue@aol.com

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Wednesday, July 9, 2003 7:31 AM
I find it odd that she unbuckled the belt, after they started rising she had plenty of time to buckle up again if she thought her life depended on it.

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"To overcome the spiders curse, simply quote a bible verse. Thou shalt not...uh, screw this."
"Hey, that looks like Princess Diana. Oh wait, it's just a pile of rags."

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Wednesday, July 9, 2003 7:31 AM
Because that would require thought and common sense Sue ;)

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"As soon as you design something that's idiot-proof, the world will go and design a better idiot."
--Brett

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Wednesday, July 9, 2003 7:32 AM
Actually, I can understand the mother's initial fear of noticing the unbuckled seatbelt (certainly your typical uninformed parkgoer could think that the seatbelt might possibly be the only thing that keeps the restraint down), but my comment was aimed primarily at the fact that she still blew the event out of proportion even after she was told that there was absolutely no danger.

I'm also a bit bewildered as to how this made the news. A woman and child were scared about a completely non-threatening situation. I'm terrified of public speaking. Should I call Channel 4?

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-Mike B.
Son of Hulk
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Wednesday, July 9, 2003 7:35 AM
You might not have made a big stink about that PT incident, but I would have. Would I have gone to the newspaper? Of course not. But I would have gone to Guest Services or Park Operations.

I'm not saying she should have ran to the paper. Yes, she overreacted. But this is not even close to getting hit by lighting in the parking lot. "GP" doesn't automatically mean stupid. I'm not trying defend the mom here, but ... I don't know ... something just doesn't sit well.

If my kid is on a ride and he wants off - and it hasn't started (yes, I know that is in question here), you better let him off. On the flip side, I've seen people complain about CP's policy where a ride op will not let a parent force a child onto a ride if the child doesn't want to ride. Great rule.

Crashmando: Thanks for the classy post.

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Walt Schmidt - Virtual Midway

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