Six-year-old girl dies on Haunted Mine Drop at Glenwood Caverns

Posted | Contributed by OhioStater

A 6-year-old girl was fatally injured while riding Haunted Mine Drop at Glenwood Caverns, according to the Garfield County Coroner's Office. The nature of her injuries has not been released.

Read more from CNN.

[Edited to be “46 inches”]

Speculating, but are that many 6 year old girls 46 inches tall?

Last edited by CreditWh0re,
Lord Gonchar's avatar

My daughter rode Millennium Force at age 5 (also a 48" requirement). So some are, at least.

According to the CDC, a 6 year old girl being 48 inches tall puts her in the 90th percentile - so 1 in 10?

Yes. At 6, average is around 45". By 7, almost at 47".

Brandon | Facebook

Obviously I don’t have children

The emergency dispatch audio from this accident is pretty grim:

GooDFeLLoW's avatar


Are injuries and fatalities on theme park rides actually up really high compared to previous years? Or are we all just desperate for theme park news and focusing on the injuries more? I remember a few weeks ago I posted that woman getting her foot caught in the floor gap and screaming bloody murder at SFMM, and now just a few weeks later there's another foot-in-the-gap incident (the paraplegic man story) as well as countless other incidents. I wonder if a year off without consistent use has led to sub-par maintenance, sub-par training, etc which has led to more incidents.

Jeff's avatar

After following the industry for 20 years, I don't think this year deviates that much from "typical," though but the numbers are so relatively small that they deservedly get a lot of attention when something bad does happen.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog

they have released the girls name and setup a GoFundMe. This story alludes to loose seat belts as the cause, but who knows?

Jeff's avatar

The headline trying to paint Stan an irresponsible bad guy is pretty lame. The Disney tower drop rides don't have shoulder restraints either, and it has nothing to do with safety. I imagine there are only two outcomes here, the restraint failed or the girl was too small to be secured by the restraint. Very sad either way.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog

bigboy said:

The emergency dispatch audio from this accident is pretty grim:

I read this while sitting next to my 7 y/o and 4 y/o and my heart shattered into pieces reading the transmission cancelling the helicopter and requesting coroner. Park accidents are always horrible to hear about, but this one cut me deep.

I've had discussions in the past about the height requirement on some rides. They may be tall enough, but are they mature enough to handle the ride experience? I started seeing children that were physically tall enough to ride that were strapped on and left by themselves that were really just big toddlers, who would freak out as the ride accelerated resulting in an E stop situation. The industry may have to start re evaluating how they determine when some one is able to ride an attraction.

Fun's avatar

Jeff said:

I imagine there are only two outcomes here, the restraint failed or the girl was too small to be secured by the restraint. Very sad either way.

If you count "passenger defeated the restraint" seperately, I'd propose that as the 3rd outcome.

Jeff's avatar

If you can defeat the restraint, it's still one of those two cases.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog

This is overall a really sad occurrence. I will say I am a bit surprised that this type of ride is relying entirely on a seatbelt (actually two) to secure the rider. That's not right or wrong, but does feel "strange" to me. I know Disney does that to some extent with Tower of Terror, though the entire "room" drops, not just the "seat you are sitting on" so to speak. But beyond that, I can't think of too many other rides that rely entirely on a seatbelt for restraint, excepting things like antique cars, dodgems, etc.

Jeff's avatar

The Disney rides push you down, and they're not just free falls, as this ride is described. You will most certainly come off the seat in a meaningful way without a seatbelt on the Disney rides.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog

eightdotthree's avatar

First let me say what a tragedy this.

I just watched a video about the ride. The seatbelt seems a lot like Tower of Terror's plus there's a backup belt. She could have been too small, little kids have skinny legs and don't fill out seats like adults do.

OhioStater's avatar

I read that riders have to sign a waiver before riding this particular ride that essentially clears the park of any wrong-doing, although the descriptions of this process have been vague. Is this normal? I mean, I know I am technically agreeing to a lot of things when I purchase a ticket at many parks, but I cannot remember ever having to sign a waiver to ride a specific ride. Maybe I'm just not well-travelled in that regard.

And that is not to suggest that the ride was somehow inherently unsafe; it was just odd to read that.

Promoter of fog.

My first thought is that the waver is just to enhance the sense of danger. The screamin' swing also seems to require a waver. The Cedar Fair screamin' swings (at least at Cedar Point) don't require a waver. To ride the Cedar Fair swing, all you need to do is buy a ticket, pass a height check, and walk on the ride. I can't think of any logical reason why one ride would require a waver, and another one wouldn't when they are similar ride models, both built by the same manufacturer. Maybe its something at the state level?

Glenwood Caverns' use of liability waivers appears to be rooted in possible historical ties with the ski industry, where signed waivers are SOP. Less true among amusement parks, although waivers are usually included in the ticket license.

I find it interesting that we so far have no explanation of any kind of the nature of the incident. At least one source says the person fell 110 feet, but the only reliable information we really have so far is that...
a) A young girl died on the ride
b) The cause of death was multiple blunt force trauma

We don't even know that she was on the ride when the incident happened. Remember this drop ride loads at the top of the tower. Was this person even on the ride? If we assume the typical 3:1 ratio for free fall vs. acceleration, an unsecured rider who comes off this thing will probably exit the vehicle at about the 30' mark, where acceleration of the carriage would yank the rider from the seat. Given the velocity of the seat at the point of exit, would that be equivalent to a 110' fall?

I just find it odd that we know so little at this point about the circumstances of the incident. Normally we have some kind of a credible story by now.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

    /X\        _      *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
/XXX\ /X\ /X\_ _ /X\__ _ _ _____

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