Woman falls from Dollywood Express

Wednesday, April 14, 2004 6:09 PM
News! A woman fell from Dollywood's Train ride this afternoon while the train was in motion. The woman is in stable condition, but was flown to the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville, via LifeStar. I will get a link posted once the news web site is updated with this breaking story.

Park Officials say the ride will remain closed until their investigation is over. *** Edited 4/14/2004 10:10:49 PM UTC by CoastermanX***

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Wednesday, April 14, 2004 6:14 PM
The seasonal parks haven't even opened for the summer and there have already been at least 3 accidents this month. I fear that journalists will jump on this for another wave of "Are coasters safe?" reports.
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Wednesday, April 14, 2004 6:17 PM
This incident occured on the Park's 110-ton Coal-fired Steam Train, not a coaster.
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Wednesday, April 14, 2004 6:18 PM
'cept D'wood Express is a steam train, not a coaster. But you're right, the media could make a big deal of this. Heck, it's the second accident in Pigeon Forge in less than a month.
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Wednesday, April 14, 2004 6:22 PM
It may lead to the state regulating amusement rides, which isn't all that bad. I see the park putting doors on the sides of the train, too keep people from falling out.
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Wednesday, April 14, 2004 7:16 PM
I'd hate to fall from this train as there are some really steep drop offs near the tracks in a couple of the wooded areas. I just rode it not 2 weeks ago and was thinking to myself how bad (and easy) it'd be to fall off this train. Didn't help that I'd just ate a huge turkey leg plate and was quite sleepy from the 4 AM drive over. I found myself nodding off near the end of this very peaceful train ride.

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Wednesday, April 14, 2004 7:22 PM
Maybe they should have ropes on the side of the trains or something to keep little kids in as well as adults..
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Wednesday, April 14, 2004 7:24 PM
Well, I'm going to Dollywood tomorrow...my girlfriend is gonna be upset that the train is closed! This thing has been an accident waiting to happen for years, and I am actually surprised that it was not a child, though...I hope the woman is okay!!

Joe

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Wednesday, April 14, 2004 7:28 PM
The train ops will not allow children to sit on the outside edges of the train's benches. They specifically made a big deal of this when I was on it. The ropes would probably still be a good idea though. I don't think I've ever been on a train with seat belts, but we might see that if a lawsuit comes of this.
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Wednesday, April 14, 2004 7:48 PM
Dollywood Express has a "two seat contact" rule. Your seat must reamain in contact with the trains seat. She had something spilled on her and jumped up.

I'm not saying she is at fault. I'm not saying Dollywood is at fault. But people must realize that if they stand up on a ride while in motion they can fall. *** Edited 4/14/2004 11:51:07 PM UTC by Char Spratt***

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Wednesday, April 14, 2004 8:52 PM
Hopefully the train will be operating again by this weekend. It's one of my favorite rides at the park.

And, I don't think any modifications should be made to the train car seats(Although I'm sure there will be). The Dollywood Express has been operating with sideless cars for the last 17/42 years without anybody falling off.

The Dollywood train crew is very safety conscious as well. One time I was on the train and they stopped it out in the middle of the woods because some kids were switching places on one of the benches.

Parks like Busch Gardens, Cedar Point, Kings Island, Disney World, and may others are operating trains without sides on them, and there is no need for all of these parks to modify their railroad equipment just because of one incident.

*** Edited 4/15/2004 12:54:29 AM UTC by Dukeis#1***

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Wednesday, April 14, 2004 9:26 PM
Still no official updates, even though this was reported on the evening news. More info coming at 11.
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Wednesday, April 14, 2004 11:05 PM
The woman fell off while the train was stopped, as reported on the 11o'clock news while on top of the mountain. The only reason the train should stop up there, would be fore the robbery scene, which was suspended last season.

How do you fall off of a stopped train, and sustain such injuries? the area around which the train should have stopped at is nothing but grass.

I simply don't know what to think-but it seems it was purely the woman's fault. maybe an employee such as Char Spratt could shed some light on the subject.

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Wednesday, April 14, 2004 11:18 PM
I just rode that train last week! One of the weirdest things is a remark that the conductor says just before the ride starts. They insist on children under 12 to be sitting on the inside between adults, so the remark went something like this... "We don't want to see a child fall off the train, but for some reason, we don't seem to care if an adult falls off." I know that it's said just for fun, but hearing about this now really creeps me out.

Geez, I hope that she'll be ok. From what I remember, those seats sit pretty high up from ground level (5 feet or so?), so even just falling off a stationary train could cause some serious injuries.

By the way, why did they stop the train robbery? I was waiting for it to happen, but it never did. In fact, the train never stopped anywhere during the ride.

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Wednesday, April 14, 2004 11:22 PM
They suspened it last season for construction of Thunderhead. They only do the robbery ever other trip.
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Thursday, April 15, 2004 10:04 AM
The train wasn't stopped. They are no longer doing the robbery. The news was mistaken about that.
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Thursday, April 15, 2004 10:18 AM
Personally I hope she is ok. Or will be ok soon. To me it wont matter who is at fault in this incident. Or whether the train was moving or not. If it was she is lucky she did not get run over by the train. I hope this is the last accident I hear about this year. PERIOD. But I doubt it will be.
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Thursday, April 15, 2004 10:29 AM
Here are a few links to the story.

http://www.wate.com/Global/story.asp?S=1787851

http://www.wbir.com/News/news.asp?ID=17818

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Thursday, April 15, 2004 10:42 AM
I certainly hope the woman is OK...sounds like she sustained some pretty serious injuries, but it's good they didn't seem life-threatening...

On to a happier topic, the Smoky Mountain CoasterStorm event is this weekend. Char Spratt, CoastermanX, etc., who should we expect to see working and/or attending the event?

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Thursday, April 15, 2004 11:04 AM
I'll be there! :) I hope the train is back to running this weekend. It's the perfect way to relax at Dollywood and get good pics of the coasters.
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