Posted Thursday, July 17, 2008 12:47 PM | Contributed by Headchopper
(Originally posted Monday, July 14, 2008 3:47 PM EDT) A ride operator was on life support after being struck by a roller coaster last night in Seaside Heights. The accident happened at the Star Jet ride at the Casino Pier. The employee, Stanislav Nikolaev Draganev, 21, hails from Tleven, Bulgaria, and was in the United States on a work visa. He was trying to retrieve a lost hat.
Read more from The Philadelphia Inquirer.
UPDATE: Jersey Shore University Medical Center confirmed today that the 21-year-old Bulgarian exchange student critically injured Sunday evening by a boardwalk roller-coaster car had died.
Read more from Asbusry Park Press.
From the article:
"He had a lot of friends, he was a good employee," she said.
A good employee would never enter the track area. I don't know what kind of rules this park has, but normally a mechanic is required to retrieve lost articles from any part of the track area.
Does bring up yet AGAIN the lack of training involved when teaching people to operate rides. Lock-out, tag-out...EVERY time. We go through this several times each year, and I'm afraid we've yet to meet the quota for '08.
I rode the Star Jet a few weeks ago. The fence around the ride is portable carnival fencing, and I don't believe there is any fencing on the operator side of the platform. Most of the ride is up in the air, but there are a few spots that come pretty close to the pier decking.
The bad thing is that from the loading area...the ride dispatch point...the entire ride is easily visible. It would be trivial for the operator to LOOK across to the end of the pier and make sure the ride area is clear before dispatching a train. Absolutely trivial.
(Of course we don't know that the operator didn't do that and Mr. Draganev jumped down to the pier after the ride started. That's another issue.)
I've got a solution for this problem, though: Casino Pier should take a Sawzall to the pier decking and chop it all out so that the ride sits directly on the pier structure. Then if anybody loses a hat or anything else, it will end up in the ocean. I'll bet they could reduce the number of dropped hats that way...
--Dave Althoff, Jr.
Second accident this year involving ....a hat?
Do these said hats possess mystical powers beyond my knowledge that places such a high value to them? Honestly..
GET OVER IT! (And I don't mean the fencing around the ride)
Come on now. I'm sure if either of these people thought they'd be severely injured or dead, they would have hesitated. It's not a value call here...it's a judgement call. They had REALLY bad judgement. Had nothing to do with weighing life versus hat.
And personally I think the warning signs should thwart the "judgment call" argument.
But guess we all measure things differently.
Chuck, who thought the Star Jet was a cool ride and very seldom ridden at the prices they were charging 750 per ride.
--Dave Althoff, Jr.
The only good that COULD come out of all this - increased emphasis on safety procedures and proper training.
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