Posted Monday, June 12, 2006 9:03 AM | Contributed by Brucey
Two children fell out of their raft in the Tornado at Six Flags Great America in north suburban Gurnee Wednesday. One of the children suffered a head injury and the other escaped with only a bump. Kids say that raft went "all the way to the top of the funnel" when they fell out.
Read more from WLS/Chicago.
It is interesting to compare this story to Absimillard's experience at another location, where the Tornado slides were only allowed to go when filled with exactly four people "to keep it 'safe' for weight and balance". http://coasterbuzz.com/forum.aspx?mode=thread&TopicID=44843
*** This post was edited by greatwhitenorth 6/12/2006 9:35:04 AM ***
I wouldn't have thought it was possible to get that high, and obviously with those pipes in the way, no one would make it totally to the top of the funnel, but it makes me wonder if hitting one of the pipes could have attributed to the accident, or if it was simply kids not seated properly in the raft.
Either way, Tony's right about kids' perceptions.
MOM OF KEELY
Ive been on plenty of those rides and as a heavy person, I know for a fact that on those rides more weight=more height (trust me personal experience.) Its physics, you simply gain more energy with more mass so she may have went up high but she probably didnt get as high as most. What I guess is more likely is that when she hit the water trough at the bottom the bump jarred her grip on the tube loose and when the boat started to slow down at the top, she continued on and fell off (notice this does not make this any more her fault Im just trying to picture the accident.) My question is did you actually see the accident or did you here about it second hand? As to why, Im just curious I think these rides are a lot of fun but there have been trips on them when that bump at the bottom from the water trough (that is the way the ride breaks itself) has come close to knocking me off too.
Also I count one post that blames your daughter, please dont make blanket comments about a whole communitee based on one comment. What Im sure a lot of people feel is that there is proably no one at fault for this and this was simply an accident. There are warnings at enterances telling you that it is a strenous ride for a reason and no matter how well designed, there is allways going to be a risk involved in riding them. What I do question is what the park exactly did wrong and what is your motivation for sueing the park (ie how did they make this ride unsafe.) Its not that we are "big business" but you would not believe the things people sue parks for these days.
Did the park wait 25 mins to call 911 or did the ambulence not arrive for 25 mins (because if it was the latter that is sadly normal in this day and age.)
Once again, sorry for your loss.
Please tell us what the park did wrong to cause your child's injury in the first place? There's no way it could have been an accident? (Of course not, not with "big business" involved) And why do you care what people on this site have to say anyway?
BTW, whoever used the term "screwing around" obviously meant misbehaving or doing something they shouldn't have been. From your post it seem like you think they meant something else. Yes, 10 and 11 year olds are plenty capable of misbehaving, whether you want to believe it or not.
My daughter and I were in line to ride the Tornado at Six Flags Gurnee when the accident happened. One thing I did notice that day, was that they had alot of foreign students working ride admissions and life guard positions. I noticed that they were not making people adhere to rules (for instance, in the lazy river, people were swimming, when they're not supposed to be in there without a tube to float on).
When my daughter and I rode the Tornado the first time in the morning, we noticed that there were two types of rafts to choose from for the ride. I asked the morning attendant if there was a difference other than one was quite larger than the other. He told me the green ones (smaller) were for 2 people, and the gold ones were for 4 people to ride. So we took the green one and had no problem with the ride.
Later when we went to ride it again, we realized that there were no green rafts available to use. I asked the 2nd attendant if green ones were coming out soon, he shrugged and told me I could take a gold one (spoke with an accent and obviously didn't know the safety rules if he told me to take the larger raft for 2 people). That didn't seem right to me, so my daughter and I decided to wait till a green one became available. While we were waiting, a few more groups of two charged ahead of us, and took the gold rafts without being told by the attendant that there should be 4 people on those rafts. I was standing on one of the waiting stairways facing the large end of the Tornado when it happened, I heard the thud when it flipped, but didn't see it because someone else's raft was in my way.
Did the 2 girls this happened to have a green raft or a gold raft? If they took the gold raft, I could see why it might flip with only 2 people on it, as it is pretty large and heavy.
I hope you were not thinking I was placing blame on the kids with my post. I was asking if you or anyone knew which raft type they used because the attendant in charge at the time was not adhering to the rules for those rafts. He did not check on the group (2 or 4 persons) and make sure they had the proper rafts going up and that very well could have made a difference in regards to weight distribution in the rafts and the possibility of flipping over.
No I was not thinking you were blaming my child. I believe you post helped me see what the attendent was doing or not doing and for that I thank you. I am just trying to make people understand that this just was not Dylan's or Keely's fault. They did what they were suppose to do and still got hurt. It happens. I am just hurt that others want to blame a child instead of thinking that perhaps it was the ride.
As for the blood, head wounds tend to do that. Thankfully it appears that your child has no lasting brain injury (the memory loss would have continued either in a forward or backwards direction if it was perminent) so the loss of blood wasnt a problem in the long term (thankfully.)
As for the whole filing with the state thing, think about that for a second. How in the world was SFGAm going to cover this accident up by transporting your daughter to the hospital? That really makes no sense, what does make sense is that they know that ambulences take a long time to get to the park and if SFGAm feels that the wounded is in no immidiate danger they would simply transport them to the hospital to save time. However with your daughters continued loss of blood it was apparent to them that she needed an ambulence just in case. I know this may sound to you like a "big business" answer but think about it, why would it be in the park's best interest to keep their guests from dieing and being hurt.
With that said, IF the ride attendants were not trained or operating the rides properly, then that is Six Flag's fault. I can verify, that the rides were not being attended properly on the ground level where we were. If the attendants did not properly advise riders on the proper rafts to use, or they were using rafts that were not supposed to be used on the ride, then it's not an accident, it is more a case of negligence.
Here's the thing... gravity is gravity the world over. I rode my second Tornado this weekend at PKI. Two things I take issue with:
1) Water pressure will not force your raft up higher in the side of the funnel. A water outlet just before the drop actually slows the raft (and tickles your bum), it doesn't make it faster. Furthermore, the water outlets inside the funnel are spraying down.
2) Because of the height of the drop, you can't possibly go higher than roughly the side of the funnel. That's just the way gravity works. When you bounce a ball, it can't bounce higher than the point you dropped it from. That's just physics, and the manufacturer and Six Flags can't get around physics.
So what can go wrong on the ride? As far as I'm concerned, only rider misbehavior can cause an accident. Not holding on, not sitting in the raft correctly, trying to get out of the raft, etc. I'm not trying to be insensitive here, because I don't want children to get hurt either, but I absolutely can't hold Six Flags or Proslide accountable on a device that, in my opinion, makes it impossible to get hurt unless you do something wrong.
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