Posted Thursday, June 17, 2004 9:40 AM | Contributed by Jeff
Police say they are "taking into account" the fatal accident at Six Flags New England in the US a few weeks after a teenager's death at Oakwood on Hydro. The Six Flags death was attributed to the rider not being secured properly. The ride was made by the same manufacturer as Hydro, Intamin AG, of Switzerland.
Read more from The BBC.
It's not really that odd. Sometimes the more witnesses you have, the more difficult it becomes to ascertain EXACTLY what happened, because people tend to have subtly different versions of events. Also, from a practical perspective: the more people you have to speak to, the longer things take to transcribe, read through etc.... I have a hunch the devil will be in the detail with this one. Maybe Oakwood and the authorities have a good idea of what went wrong, but are waiting till they've accumulated all the evidence they need to substantiate their views. They don't have the luxury of being able to speculate freely as we do.
This may be a long shot, but perhaps the 100 witnesses only saw the girl fall out and nothing else. There is an area where most people stand and watch the ride. From that area, there is a point where you would not be able to see every individual on the boat as it curves at the top.
Here is a picture I took in the area I am talking about. If the girl were to have stood up, turned around, or something like that, there is a chance that the people standing in the viewing area area couldn't see what she was doing.
The area where the latest SFNE accident happend is viewable from just about any point in the main outdoor portion of the line. Even with less witnesses, the viewing area was more focused, if that makes sense. Those that witnessed the girl falling out of Hydro could have only seen her as she was going down the drop as opposed to an entire last leg of a coaster.
I'm surprised the investigation is still ongoing, although appreciate the amount of evidence they have to go through. I doubt we'll see Hydro open again this season.
What needs to happen in this case is to identify a condition under which the incident can happen. Or several conditions under which the incident can happen. It might not be possible to re-create the exact circumstances of the accident, but if a way can be found to throw a rider out of the boat, then that gives you a condition that has to be considered for repair.
--Dave Althoff, Jr.
I was on Hydro the day before this tragedy and when i sat in the Hydro Car first of all i noticed how high the sides are on the car and secondly as i am a big Fellow (18 Stone) i had difficulty in doing my restraint up"Much to the embarrassment of my son. I asked the attendant if i could just use the bar and he said under no circumstances can i ride without the belt. One think i do Know is if i hadn't said anything i am sure i could have as my raincoat was covering it and there were no physical checks made by the Girl Assistant.
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