New York releases report on Darien Lake roller coaster death

Posted Wednesday, August 17, 2011 12:19 PM | Contributed by Jeff

Before Sgt. James Hackemer died in a fall off a ride at Darien Lake Theme Park, he inquired about boarding procedures for disabled riders. Hackemer went to guest services about an hour and a half before he died. The report states that procedures were explained to Hackemer and that he also declined a brochure titled "A Guide to Fun at the Park for Guests with Disabilities."

Read more from The Democrat and Chronicle.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011 1:49 PM

The report states that procedures were explained to Hackemer and that he was also declined a brochure titled "A Guide to Fun at the Park for Guests with Disabilities."

Just to clarify, the word 'was' should be removed. The article states that he refused a copy of the guide, not that the park refused to give him one.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011 1:52 PM

Good catch, Vater. It's funny how one word can completely change the meaning of a sentence.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011 2:37 PM

Fixed.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011 3:11 PM

Like I said, it's not the park's fault but his own that caused his death.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011 3:42 PM

Vater said:
he refused a copy of the guide, not that the park refused to give him one.

That won't help "his" case in court I guess

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011 3:57 PM

Maybe partially it was his fault. Ride operators have the responsibility to know and understand what disabilities a rider can have and still be safe or unsafe on the ride that they are working at.

I am assuming that you never worked at a ride at a park before, Majorcut. Not taking a personal stab at you or anything mean. I just think that you don't understand that ride operators are supposed to be trained on these matters. There is a lot more to operating a ride, any ride, than just pushing buttons and checking lap bars.

Of the many rides that I have worked on, I had the final say on whether someone was allowed to ride or not because of safety reason... That is unless a supervisor or manager gave permission over me.

Back to my point, it is also the ride operators responsibility to ensure that riders are safe. Ride operators spend a lot more time at their ride than this one guy who fell out. This guy just wanted to ride the coaster. The ride operators are running the ride all season long.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011 4:32 PM

Where can we view the autopsy/toxicology report?

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011 4:51 PM

Majorcut said:
Like I said, it's not the park's fault but his own that caused his death.

Did he push the button that dispatched the train?

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011 5:00 PM

I'm with you Jeff. If there are people in my car and they should be wearing seatbelts...I shouldn't drive off until the seatbelts are fastened. Ultimately, I'm the one at the wheel.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011 5:44 PM

Majorcut said:
Like I said, it's not the park's fault but his own that caused his death.

I thought you said his caregivers had him murdered by forcing him to ride.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011 7:43 PM

Krause, I have never worked in an amusement park but I would know not to put a person with no legs on any ride that would require any kind of restraint device that fits over the legs. The primary responsible party for his safety was the Sgt. He didn't take the advice of the park by not accepting the brochure or reading it prior to getting on the ride. When does taking personal responsibility go out the window when you go to any amusement park and start blaming the park for your own accidents? In this case it left the Sgt. dead. What perfect way to commit suicide by riding a ride that will kill him due to his handicap? To those who which to say that I am wrong, think about the scenario.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011 8:02 PM

You are wrong because you are assuming that this guy wanted to commit suicide or that his caregiver wanted to murder him. That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever read on CoasterBuzz, and I have read some pretty stupid things over the last decade.

It makes more sense to say that he didn't know exactly how the restraints hold the riders into the ride, and that he didn't know that the ride was going to present uplift forces, aka airtime. Perhaps he was having way too much fun to have to worry about reading a giant disabled safety pamphlet.

Hackemer should have read the pamphlet because it would have described which rides were safe for him to ride and which rides were not. I'll give you that. But you should understand that ride operators are trained to understand these policies as well. Ride operators have a say in who is allowed to ride or not. It's their job to ensure that every rider meets the right requirements to safely ride. That's why they check heights, sometimes at the entrance even.

Example time: If a kid rides Ride of Steel, and falls out because he was too short, are you going to assume that his parents wanted him dead? Are you going to say that it was not the ride operators fault for not checking his height with a height stick or other height-measuring contraption?

Oh wait. you used to be a security guar- umm I mean a cop. Did you get to carry a gun? Did you get to investigate murders like they do on TV? Well, I used to be a ride operator. I got to check heights. I got to tell people that they could not ride because they needed at least one arm and one leg. I got to make sure that people were not standing up while my ride was in motion. It was a hoot!


Edited to add - And dammit! My name is not Krause. lol

Last edited by LostKause, Wednesday, August 17, 2011 8:05 PM
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Wednesday, August 17, 2011 8:15 PM

LostKause said:

Edited to add - And dammit! My name is not Krause. lol

It is now!

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011 8:33 PM

Majorcut said:
Krause, I have never worked in an amusement park but I would know not to put a person with no legs on any ride that would require any kind of restraint device that fits over the legs. The primary responsible party for his safety was the Sgt. He didn't take the advice of the park by not accepting the brochure or reading it prior to getting on the ride. When does taking personal responsibility go out the window when you go to any amusement park and start blaming the park for your own accidents? In this case it left the Sgt. dead. What perfect way to commit suicide by riding a ride that will kill him due to his handicap? To those who which to say that I am wrong, think about the scenario.

Actually.. if you read the report, it clearly states the reason he refused the copy of the brochure is because he already possessed a copy of it. (Pg1, second to last paragraph). Stating that he did not read it is not mentioned in the report and is pure conjecture on your part.

Committed suicide on the ride? Seriously doubt it. First off, since you were a police officer you've obviously seen the results of a few. Not many did it around their family and friends correct?

Secondly, if he was going to do a "death by cop" at the park, why was his seatbelt still fastened? If he really intended to do it, surely he would have unbuckled his belt to ensure he would be would get ejected.

Last edited by 67440Dodge, Wednesday, August 17, 2011 8:36 PM
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Wednesday, August 17, 2011 8:50 PM

I have to agree with Krause. The ride ops bear primary responsibility for enforcing park safety policies. Though seemingly Hackemer had some culpability for his actions too.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011 9:49 PM

Sometimes, Krause knows what he's talking about. Sometimes.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011 10:20 PM

In my best fake english accent -

"I Fancy the name Krause - don't you? do you fancy it? Sounds very Germaine!"

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011 10:21 PM

LostKause said:

Edited to add - And dammit! My name is not Krause. lol

Raven-Phile said:
It is now!

Definitely. :)

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011 10:23 PM

Oh crap. I'll get you back for ruining my good name, sir Majorcut. Mwhahahahaha!

This is the third or fourth time Majorcut has called me Krause. Either he's being stupid on purpose, or he it's not his fault that he is stupid. :D

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