Youtube, ride accidents, and the media.

Friday, October 7, 2011 7:43 PM

If you are like me, you might be looking for unusual coaster and ride videos on Youtube. It seems to me that there are quite a few ride accident videos there. Some are fake, of course, like a man being thrown from a rollercoaster, and you can tell that it's just a dummy. But, there are many that are very real, and kinda makes you think.

I recently saw one where a man is thrown from a hymalaya type ride, where you see him going round and round happily with his arms in the air, until he is suddenly thrown off the ride and slammed into the railing...appears ok. There are kids falling from ferris wheels, and, I recently saw one of a girl being thrown from a swing ride. (Wave Swinger)

The worst I saw was on a drop tower ride, where people are being "rescued" by a cherry picker, only something goes wrong, the picker bucket somehow gets flipped, and you see people falling to the ground. But, not much was said about what happened to those people afterwards.

I have personally witnessed a few ride accidents. One was an older man having a heart attack of a swinging ship. A more worse one involved a scrambler at the carnival I was working at, where the lights of the ride came loose and fell onto the cars when the ride was fully loaded, sending glass flying everywhere. All kinds of people with cuts on their faces, arms legs, blood everywhere...but nobody seriously injured...Bad news was the ride was NOT closed by inspectors and was operating within hours of the accident. The media was there, but hardly mentioned it, probably so that people would continue to come to the carnival as the event drew 250,000 every night.

Now that video has come along, it seems that there are an aweful lot of these accidents being posted on Youtube, so where is the media? And, there is nothing being said by the parks. Makes me wonder how safe they really are. It also makes me question the parks "No cameras" policy, as in maybe something might happen that the parks don't want anyone to see....besides the huge lines and high prices.

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Friday, October 7, 2011 7:57 PM

I would suggest you rely on statistics regarding ride safety. There will always be exceptional accidents that are caught on film, but that doesn't necessarily mean we have to change our behavior.

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Friday, October 7, 2011 9:16 PM

The most haunting ride accident video for me was when Accelerator at Knott's Berry Farm had a cable snap and a rollback, then the seat that a young boy was riding in broke slightly from the car. Unseen in the video was the terror of the boy and especially his father when the incident was over and the father realized that the cable had put a gash in not only the front of the ride vehicle, but also the boys leg.

That would be enough to keep me from riding coasters if that happened to me at the age of the boy. Terrifying.

But speaking about the YouTube phenomenon, it has totally changed the world for the better, in my opinion, especially now that a lot of people are equipped with video cameras on their cell phones. People can keep the police in check when dealing with the public. People can snap a photo of a criminal or license plate number if there is a crime being committed. Technology is a powerful tool being used for justice these days, by everyday people, and it totally rocks!

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Friday, October 7, 2011 9:51 PM

LostKause said:

But speaking about the YouTube phenomenon, it has totally changed the world for the better, in my opinion, especially now that a lot of people are equipped with video cameras on their cell phones. People can keep the police in check when dealing with the public. People can snap a photo of a criminal or license plate number if there is a crime being committed. Technology is a powerful tool being used for justice these days, by everyday people, and it totally rocks!

And then there's Boxxy...

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Friday, October 7, 2011 11:00 PM

Well, yes. Stuff like that is just a bad side effect.

(Disclaimer - I had to look up Boxxy to see what you were talking about. I do find a lot of worthwhile entertainment on YouTube also, like The Key of Awesome, Kids React to..., and Annoying Orange.

My favorite YouTube video of all time is David After Dentist. I'm not going to link to my most despised video, Rebecca Black's Friday.)

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Saturday, October 8, 2011 12:01 AM

Timber-Rider said:
I have personally witnessed a few ride accidents. One was an older man having a heart attack of a swinging ship.

That's not an accident.


Makes me wonder how safe they really are.

You can probably find several thousand You Tube videos of accidents involving cars. Is that going to make you think twice about driving to work on Monday morning?

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Saturday, October 8, 2011 3:24 AM

Once you've personally witnessed a sedan and its driver pancaked into an eight inch tall mass under a semi truck, you'll never need, nor wish, to see snuff videos again.

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Saturday, October 8, 2011 8:51 AM

LostKause said:
My favorite YouTube video of all time is David After Dentist.

One of my favorite bits ever on Tosh.0.

...and yes, it is going to be like this FOREVER... ;)

P.S. Anecdotal evidence is absolutely worthless as data...as stated, statistics as infinitely more useful.

Last edited by rollergator, Saturday, October 8, 2011 8:52 AM
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Saturday, October 8, 2011 10:40 AM

I'm not quite sure if I understand the point here. Are you saying that parks are "covering up" a host of accidents and are in bed with the media to hide reports of said accidents, and that the rides at parks all across the nation are really not as safe as the parks say they are?

And wait, are you also contending that the parks are trying to make money off of all of us while secretly disposing of accident-related carcases after-hours?

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Saturday, October 8, 2011 3:59 PM

LostKause said:
People can keep the police in check when dealing with the public.

Some states prohibit this.

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Saturday, October 8, 2011 7:04 PM

I'v never heard that before. If one is interfering with the Police Officer's job by making a big deal about their videotaping whatever is going on, then yes, it is probably illegal. If they are trespassing on private property while videotaping, they are breaking the law.

I think that most Police officers want to do a good job and do not abuse their power. Most officers have cameras mounted on the inside of their vehicles not only to prove criminal activity, but also to show that they did their job correctly.

We really do live in an interesting time. The video doesn't lie, unless tampered with.

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Monday, October 10, 2011 12:20 AM

The video may not lie, but the person taking the video may have all sorts of biases that may affect the finished product. And very often, people who view a video have their own set of biases which watching the video may confirm. If a video challenges those biases, the person will find a way to discredit the video.

Timber, please explain how, of all industries and businesses in the country, the park industry somehow has enough influence to guarantee the media's silence when it comes to reporting accidents. This is the same media that gleefully reports every day about some new thing that's going to kill us, whether it be on our kitchen table, at the mall, on the highway, etc. I'm sure if there was all this carnage going on, they would have no problems reporting it, especially if they get to use those special words "this story may contain footage that may be disturbing to some viewers."

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Monday, October 10, 2011 12:57 AM

I love "Fark" news! lol!

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Monday, October 10, 2011 12:43 PM

So are you saying that you are going to let a bunch of videos stop you from going to amusement parks?......you can find accidents of all kinds on youtube. By that logic you shouldn't go anywhere.

And as for your personal experiences. One of them was at a carnival which is a different category from fixed site parks and the other was a heart attack that can happen when you watch television. I have never seen an ambulanace at an amusement park before, but I have skiing and in just about everything else I ever do. Even that is a more accurate barometer than amateur videos.

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Monday, October 10, 2011 1:06 PM

Eric Hossfield said:
And as for your personal experiences. One of them was at a carnival which is a different category from fixed site parks

Yes ... but that carnival "drew 250,000 every night."


That's only about 10X the average daily attendance of Cedar Point, and over 3X the Ohio State Fair (which is one of the largest in the US)!

Last edited by JOz99, Monday, October 10, 2011 1:07 PM
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Monday, October 10, 2011 5:12 PM

Where was this carnival that drew THAT many people?

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Monday, October 10, 2011 5:13 PM

in his pants.

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Monday, October 10, 2011 5:31 PM

OhioStater said:
in his pants.

Nice.

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Monday, October 10, 2011 6:29 PM

That's one talented set of Carnies. I can't even draw 1 person, let alone 25,000 of them (in one night, even!).

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Thursday, October 13, 2011 8:22 PM

a_hoffman50 said:
Where was this carnival that drew THAT many people?

If you are asking me. The carnival I was talking about was set up in the parking lot at the Gerald Ford Museum in Downtown Grand Rapids Michigan. The carnival ran through the 4th of July weekend, and the annual fireworks occur over the river in front of the Museum every summer. The fireworks alone draw over 500,000. Plus there are other events, and concerts that occur along with the carnival.

Unfortunately, the museum started complaining that the carnival was taking away parking from it's customers, and the carnival has not returned in many years. I worked at the carnival selling hot dogs in one of the carnival carts, and we were bringing in $20,000.00 a night. I worked from 10 in the morning until midnight, and was there to watch the carnival set up and tear down, which was very cool, and it only takes a few hours.

I saw the accident with the scrambler up close, because the scrambler itself was only about 20 feet from the hot dog cart, and we all rushed to help people off the ride.
But, I was told to go back to watch the stand, because I was not a regular carnival employee. But, it sure was scary. But, like I said, the local media barely covered it, and the carnival remained open.

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