Woman tossed to her death from Top Scan at Adventureland

Posted Thursday, September 1, 2005 10:17 PM | Contributed by Jeff

An unidentified middle-age woman was killed after being thrown from Adventureland's Top Scan, flying over a 20-foot-high wall before smashing into the windshield of a car parked next to the Adventureland Amusement Park, said Detective Lt. Jack Fitzpatrick, commander of the Suffolk County homicide squad.

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Thursday, September 1, 2005 10:31 PM
Does Huss make the Top Scan? I believe they do, but could be wrong. It's terrible that the park had two deaths in two days.

So did the restraint come open during the ride? From the looks of the seats, I would think it would have had to, or that her restraint simply wasn't far enough on her body. However, the restraint would have had to be very open to allow this, and this should have been prevented if this is the case.

Thursday, September 1, 2005 10:55 PM
Huss makes the Top Spin. The Top Scan is made by Modial.
Thursday, September 1, 2005 10:56 PM
Monodial makes it. It is an intense ride. "Tossed" would more desribe the motion when ejected from that ride. Adventure probably will be advised by their insurance company to close for the upcoming weekend, be inspected top to bottom, operators retrained, then re-open for Septemeber weekends.

They have a death curse right now. it is not a happy place.

Thursday, September 1, 2005 11:25 PM
That's terrible.

Such a shame.

Friday, September 2, 2005 12:30 AM
Like the place in France... except there was no deaths and the incidents were a month apart. There, local authorities got 2 outside companies to inspect the park, have the park do the necessary work and then Parc Asterix was sent to make sure everything was good. They were closed a total of 7 days.
Friday, September 2, 2005 1:11 AM
Sounds like a dangerous park.
Friday, September 2, 2005 1:45 AM
I live 10 min from the park. This park is having a nasty streak of bad luck. Until this week they have ahad a clean record for like 43 years.

I am upset because top scan is an intense flat and prob my fav so far. IT is a scary ride though.

This thing flips you around in ways that most rides wouldnt even dare.

You could get tossed from it if the ride op turned the ride on high. This ride can be manually operated and the ride op can turn it to max .

My gf used to work at this park.

From what her friends who stil lwork there say it was the ride itself that malfunctioned and allowed this to happen .

I am also amazed because this ride does not have seatbelts that attached the harness to the seat like on medusa at gadv.

Friday, September 2, 2005 3:44 AM
Even without seatbelts, doesn't the Mondial Top Scan have triple safety automatic OTSR's for each seat? Doesn't each seat also has a seat horn? Doesn't the outside seat on each arm also have a supplemental side metal railing?

Friday, September 2, 2005 9:20 AM
Wow such a terrible accident. My prayers go out to her family. Definitly a shame.
Friday, September 2, 2005 9:50 AM
Hello All, this is a very unfortunate situation for Adventureland. I have grown up near this park and even had worked for them in the mid 80's. I still follow the history of the park and visit it whenever I can. I must say that when working for the park that they keep everything in tip top shape and the park is very clean and kept up.

I have not been to the park in the past few years when they aquired Top Scan, but I know a few things about it. First, the manufacturer is not Huss, but MONDIAL (spelling and name correct). Second the ride does have a safety system that would alert operators if the restraints are not in place.

Keith, I would appreciate it if you did a little bit of research before labeling a park as 'dangerous'. The park prior to the two instances this week has an impecible track record for safety for over 4 decades. But still even no matter how safe a park is run sometimes there other things that happen beyond the park's control.

Here is the report:


Majortom: Note carefully that the ride was found with the safety restraint in the down and locked position.

But one thing that you did mention that I was a bit surprised was that the ride didn't have 'crotch straps'. When I was working at the park there were such straps on the swing ride and that doesn't invert. But too, it may be that it was not deemed necessary. The difference being that the lap space on the swing ride is NOT adjustable and without the crotch straps, it is possible for a small child to slop and 'escape' the ride. The Topscan has adjustable harnesses. However, I believe now that perhaps that will change and they WILL install the straps.

Now I did mention above that there are things beyond the park's control that many happen and one of them is the patrons themselves. A dead giveaway to this scenario is that they said the person who was killed was mentally disabled. That raises a red flag right there. So my best guess is that the ride was functioning properly, the person started to panic and wanted to 'escape'.

There was a similar incident I experienced at the park, but in that case a fatal incident was averted. Kudos to a very alert staff that evening. That night while returning from my break to the Musik Express (my assigned ride that evening), all the park personal was making a mad dash to The Looping Star (which is the ride the Top Scan replaced). The manager of the park was there and assured everyone the situation was under control and everything is OK, and no one is hurt. Apparently another person mentally off their rocker, managed to squeeze out of the restraints and attemped to squeeze through the bars of ride. Luckily the ride operator was quick on his toes and was able to shut the ride down before it inverted. After the situation, when asked, the person replied vaguely coherently, "I wanted to ride on the outside of the cage". Nice, huh? Now the Looping star's restraints consisted of a hydraulic bar that lowered onto your lap. I can assure you it would take quite a bit of effort to get past that restraint, unless it was held back intentionally. Common procedure operator procedure is to call out "Hands Up" to assure that no one is blocking the restraints from fully closing. Once closed, the restraints are VERY difficult to squeeze out of. I would also think the same thing of the Top Scan...once those harnesses are locked it would be difficult to squeeze out of them.

The other situation I encountered alot is horseplay. Not this was not necessarily only by the patrons, but also some of the ride operators are to blame as well. The roller coaster situation earlier in the week seems like a good example here. I mean do the math. Why would you intentionally climb on to the tracks with the ride running??? Something doesn't sound quite right upstairs, now does it. The Ladybug coaster has a lip on the front car, and it wouldn't surprise me a bit if the operator was horsing around and tried to 'catch' the lip and ride on the front of the coaster. Of course, this is speculation. What I am mainly getting at is that a properly trained employee with enough common sense should no better not to go near the tracks of a running ride...even if it was running slow.

Many times when I was working at the park and running the haunted house, patrons did foolish things such as getting out of their cars while the ride is running, and scaring people inside the ride. Fortunately the ride has motion sensors and will shut itself down if anyone exits a car.

The truth of the matter is that many people disrepect rides and forget that they are huge machines with the capability to tear a person to shreds. The Ladybug roller coaster train (for example) weighs as much as a schoolbus. Even going slow, it will not stop if a mere 175lb human gets in its way. Many of the unwary sometimes 'challenge' the rides by taking risks and this goes for both patrons and operators alike. I have seen this many times as well. Adventureland has a CP Huntington mini train that runs around the park. I have seen people walk ALONG (not across) the train tracks to get from one point to another. When I stopped them and asked why they were walking along the tracks, they just looked at me dumbfounded and said, "We were taking a shortcut, the train is slow, it will see us and immediately stop". Well, true the train is slow, but still there is a certain amount of time it will take to stop it in the event of an emergency. Or if the train goes around a blind corner...well, you get the idea.

Really in my time working for the park, much of the instances were minor with the exception of the one boy that defeated his safety restraints on the Looping Star. That is about as serious a situation got. The only other minor incidents we had was that someone lit a smoke bomb in the haunted house, and a coupling bar that attached two roller coaster cars came loose. In both situations, the ride did what it supposed to do. The Haunted house shut itself down and alerted the operators to the presence of smoke. The ride was quickly and efficently evacuated. The roller coasters computer kicked in and sensed a breach in the zone blocks when the cars separated. The safety brakes immediately shut the ride down and stopped all the cars on the track. So in both cases the ride did what it supposed to do.

Granted I will give the fact that both recent accidents have not been fully investigated as of yet, but I would like to stress that from my point of view (thusfar), both cases do not seem like a ride malfunction and point more to rider/operator behavior. I do know that the park pretty much has the same maintenance staff since the park's inception. I personally have met the park's head mechanic. And he is one of the best and knows his stuff.

I just want to say that this is a safe park by all meanings of the definition as such. I had worked there a few years and asside of the aforementioned intances I witnessed, the park IS a safe and very well kept park. They just got delt with a very bad hand this week.

I remember a few years ago another string of bad luck plagued Connecticut's Lake Compounce.

Adventureland is owned and managed by the same families now as they did when they first opened. There was never a change of hands (that I am aware of). It was always a happy place and catered very much to people with families as there is something to do for everyone in this small park.

Hopefully these two cases are isolated and the park will not be deemed at fault. Long Island doesn't have much in amusements and this park is the only decent sized park for families to attend. (The only other park that is larger is Coney Island's Astroland and that is closer to the city). The park does have a great track record and I'd doubt they would 'risk it all' now to shoddy inspections and ride maintenance.

I guess we all (for now) just have to wait and see what the investigations say. But I would be totally flabergasted and floored if the park is to blame in either or both of these cases.

I can go on and on, but this became a novel of sorts and I have to move on.

This is just my BIG take on the situation.


Friday, September 2, 2005 10:56 AM
What a shame. I visited the park for the first time two months ago and found it to be a fantastic little gem. Everything was clean and well-maintained and all the employees were friendly and attentive. I can say with fair certainty than neither of the unfortunate events that took place had anything to do with poor operations, especially when you consider the park has had a clean safety record for decades.
Friday, September 2, 2005 2:34 PM
I know nothing about this park...but I will say that I remember the day Kings Island had 3 people die in 2 seperate accidents ON THE SAME DAY! I'm not sure that there was a systemic problem with the park as much as there was bad luck in the "accidents happen" category. Again, this means nothing to the park at hand as I'm not familiar with the place!
Friday, September 2, 2005 6:00 PM
Its an interesting park. I hope it doesnt get shut down though . Top scan is an awesome ride prob the best flat i have ever been on.

the article i saw didnt mention that the harness was down.

I would go there just to ride topscan. Maybe they will replace that cruddy haunted house lol.

Friday, September 2, 2005 9:23 PM
Majortom, your statement about the ride being unsafe at full speed couldn't be further from the truth. Mondial is smart enough to engineer a restraint system that would exceed the forces exerted by the ride at full power. That is basic.

This ride has HUGE seat horns, and a harness horn, I dont think that was the problem here. Now, here is what I think happened...

*SPECULATION* The Mentally Disabled raised a huge red flag for me. I believe what probably happened is that she put 1 arm under the harness, and through the loop formed by the restraint. If she was small enough, she could then get 1 shoulder out of the harness, and then the other arm and shoulder, and slip out thusly. I know for a fact that on Cumberland Valley Show's traveling Top Scan, they check each arm very closely to ensure that both arms are outside of the harness, I presume for this reason. That is my theory, take it as you wish.

Friday, September 2, 2005 10:20 PM
I visited this park back in 2003 and was very impressed. Very clean, the rides ran very well, friendly staff, and they took very good care of their older rides. Even their Pinfari Hurricane was comfortable.

It is a shame o hear something like this at this sort of park.

The Top Scan is a ride you don't just come out of, but it's still up to the investigators to determine what happened.

Saturday, September 3, 2005 2:10 AM
Nope, that harness and seat system is right in every way (forgiving the fact that Mondial has yet to make a seat with OTSR's that accomodates peoples arms). Deep seat, seat horn, harness horn, good bar...

I'm VERY interested to know exactly what went wrong.

Monday, September 5, 2005 3:47 AM
According to this graphic...


They are indicating the rider was sitting in the second seat from the inside of the arm. The crude diagram used to represent the seat/restraint system is not at all representative of the restraint/seat design of the Top Scan.

Wednesday, September 7, 2005 5:18 PM
here is a photo from the Mondial site showing a very good view of the seats.
Wednesday, September 7, 2005 9:45 PM

That photo is not accurate. That Top Scan has seat belts and the Advuentureland Top Scan did not. This would have most likely saved her life.

This also proves that there is a second Top Scan with seat belts installed as well.

Read this: http://www.ultimaterollercoaster.com/forums/cgi/forum1.cgi?read=162968


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