Parent of injured child pushing for CPSC regulation

Posted Monday, July 16, 2001 4:28 AM | Contributed by Chitown

A woman whose daughter was injured on Six Flags Great America's Cajun Cliffhanger (a Rotor) says that the Consumer Product Safety Commission could have prevented injury if they had jurisdiction over amusement rides. The girls toe's were caught between the barrel and the floor as it began to rise.

Read more from The News Sun.

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Monday, July 16, 2001 4:30 AM
I don't want to sound insensitive, but isn't it a rule that you have to keep your the back of your heels on the wall? If you pull your feet up flat on the wall, and that's against the rules, how can the CPSC do anything to prevent that?

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Jeff
Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com
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Monday, July 16, 2001 4:46 AM
Ouch, that's gotta hurt. Isn't there some way of the ride-op enforcing this rule? Like with the Gravitron ride, the op sits in the middle. However there isn't much room to do that in a Rotor.
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Monday, July 16, 2001 6:36 AM
There has recently been some discussion about this in a ride inspection discussion forum. Apparently the cause of the accident was OPERATOR error in that the operator lowered the floor before the ride reached full speed, then raised it at an inappropriate time.

Improper operation does not necessarily make for a hazardous product, and if the CPSC had jurisdiction they would not have prevented that incident because there is no demonstrable product defect.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.
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Monday, July 16, 2001 7:23 AM
Whats bad is this is not a single event its happend multiple times.

http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/cdh/20010711/lo/documents_show_13_more_safety_incidents_at_great_america_1.html

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Army rangers lead the way
*** This post was edited by supermandl on 7/16/2001. ***
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Monday, July 16, 2001 8:14 AM
It certainly sounds like SFGAM did not follow up on these incidents as they should have. However, I'm not sure that CPSC oversight would have prevented what happened. The ability of the CPSC to communicate issues wouldn't have helped here, since Chance had already issued a bulletin.

if RideMan is correct about the operator error issues, it seems that some pretty simple interlocks are called for. A couple of relays could prevent what happened.
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Monday, July 16, 2001 9:45 AM
Fourteen people had 'incidents' on the ride in 25 years of operation? WOW! I'd like to know how much better this commision could make the odds.
lata,
jeremy
--"Nobody writes about the planes that land." Steve Salerno Washington Times 7-10-01
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Monday, July 16, 2001 10:24 AM
The Cliffhanger will most likely be removed next year anyways. The sign for it is gone and it doesn't have a 2001 inspection sticker
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Monday, July 16, 2001 12:10 PM
girl gets toe cut off on ride. CPSC can't find anything wrong with ride. ride is destroyed and all are forced to forget its existance. what a wonderful system we have.

and what's with that last paragraph? how can she not do gymnastics with half a toe missing? sure there would be some down time that she couldn't, but after a couple months she should be able to do most everything. I don't think that half a big toe will really effect your balance all that much. and what about the whole embarassment thing? is she gonna live? yeah. what about people with cancer that lose their hair and wonder if they'll live another week? yeah man, she's got it bad. she lost half a toe and for that I can't ride a ride that is safe if you follow the rules. this reminds me of a Seinfeld episode. sorry if I sounded mean, but that's rediculous. if my kid lost a toe I'd smack him up-side the head and tell him to follow the rules next time.

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it's a mexican pirate!~Track 15 Blink 182 Take Off Your Pants and Jacket
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Monday, July 16, 2001 12:15 PM
Screw her. I want my Cajun Cliffhanger back. I hope she learned a lesson from this...

Oh wait, she won't learn anything from it because her parents are blaming great america, while she thinks she was in the right...

Stupid country!
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Monday, July 16, 2001 12:48 PM
You know, JoNoJ27 is right. The people who think they are never at fault are stupid. Everyone knows that on ride accidents, it's usually the riders fault (at least 60% to 70%). Take Roger Rabbit's Cartoon spin at Disneyland for example. The kid leaned out of the car for a stuffed animal he dropped; not to mention the adult should sit on the outside of the attraction. He fell out and got caught in the machinery. jeez
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Coaster-man *** This post was edited by Coaster-fanatic on 7/16/2001. ***
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Monday, July 16, 2001 2:56 PM
Actually, the article indicates that there were 14 "incident" reports in 6 years, not 25 years, including 6 "injuries". In addition to the 6 injuries, there were 3 additional reports of feet being caught without injury. The article does not state that all 6 injuries were to feet. (This is of course assuming that the paper got the numbers right which is often not the case.)

I don't have any data for average injury rates for amusement rides, nor do I know what the cause was for each reported injury. However, I would guess that there was enough of a pattern here that the design and operation of the ride should be reviewed for possible modifications to equipment or procedures.
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Monday, July 16, 2001 7:06 PM
Stupid country? Stupid insensitive moron is more like it. How can you say screw her? You wouldn't be saying that if it was your daughter. Get a life. She never said she was right.

I agree that nothing the CPSC could ever do would have prevented the injury, but I'm often astounded that people can say such ridiculously stupid things at the expense of someone who has suffered serious injury.

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Jeff
Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com
"From the global village... in the age of communication!"
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Monday, July 16, 2001 7:16 PM
Considering the amount of riders on the cajun cliffhanger who consistently disobeyed the rules, it's a wonder there weren't hundreds of injuries.

That in itself is a testament to the ride.

I miss being able to go on a water ride, then go spin dry. I want it back. Make me sign a waiver to go on, I don't really care, I just want to be able to ride it.
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Tuesday, July 17, 2001 7:02 PM
Jeff, I disagree. The fact that the girl did indeed disobey the rules should be enough. Instead, the parents are trying to discredit the amusement park industry. They have already affected the industry because I cannot, and probably never will be able to, ride one of my favorite non-rollercoaster rides.

If it were my daughter, I think I would have realized that the CPSC couldn't have done anything. I would have realized that the ride doesn't hurt anybody following the rules. Would you trust a McDonalds worker with the life of your child, because in essence that's what you do with ride-ops at amusement parks. These aren't professionals with decades of experience. They are often high school or college kids. If there is a height restriction posted outside the ride, the parent ignores it, and the ride-op fails to notice it, is the park as responsible as the parent or child? Do you think a stranger should have more concern for somebody's well-being than the person themself? I don't think so.

I've been on the Cajun Cliffhanger many, many times. I always followed the rules, because I could figure out that there is a potential danger associated with messing around. But the insistence of most amusement park guests to increase fun has its costs. Sure it can be more fun to test the limits of the additional g-forces by lifting your feet up. You are also told not to do it.

Now because one parent and their child's ignorance, I can't ride a ride.

I do feel sorry for her that this happened. It has changed her life drastically. But no legal action will change what happened. She lost part of her foot, and suffered through a horrible experience. But to try to put the blame on the park, or the industry itself, is not the answer.

The fact that a person can injure themselves because of a lack of common sense, and then get awarded money for it is embarassing. That's why its a stupid country. It's like the lady who burnt herself by spilling McDonalds coffee on themselves, and then got awarded money. This is just as ridiculous.

And while she didn't say she was right, obviously, since the legal battles continue, her parents seem to think she was right, or at least right enough to need intervention from the government to assure safety.
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Wednesday, July 18, 2001 4:52 AM
OK, so now you change your statement. I'm not saying that it is right, I'm saying that "screw her" is a pretty stupid and insensitive thing to say about someone who suffered a real injury, whether it was her fault or not.

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Jeff
Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com
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Wednesday, July 18, 2001 12:15 PM
It was not meant in a angry, or serious manner. It was a loose use of the term meant to enhance its cynical value.
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Friday, July 20, 2001 5:27 AM
im glad that cajun cliffhanger closed. obviously if 14 people were injured on the ride, theres something wrong with it. everytime i rode it i payed attention to the directions and each time my body slid down to the floor and i was barely on the wall. maybe something better will go in it's place.
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Friday, July 20, 2001 12:26 PM
What do you think can possibly fit in such a confined space? Ok, a hot dog stand might, but that's it.

Your body will slide down when they raise the floor and slow down the ride to stop. Everybody slides. But do you get your feet caught?
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