Over the summer months, thousands of thrill seekers head to amusement parks, water parks and fairs in Virginia and further afield. While these occasions should be fun days out, high profile accidents have highlighted their potential dangers.
On June 14, two passengers on a roller coaster were seriously injured on Daytona Beach Boardwalk in Florida when it derailed and sent them falling 34 feet to the ground.
The authorities had to pull eight other people to safety high above the Daytona Beach Boardwalk.
The two roller coaster riders who fell to the ground suffered serious injuries. Two others suffered a terrifying ordeal when they were left dangling from a car. They were rescued by firefighters.
The front car of the roller coaster containing four passengers completely came off the tracks, according to Daytona Beach Fire Department.
Firefighters used ladders to rescue other passengers in two cars trapped high above the ground. Six people in total were treated at a local hospital.
People who operate amusement parks are quick to point out accidents are rare compared to traffic collisions. However, accidents at theme parks or water parks can be extremely serious in nature.
In 2016, a terrible incident occurred at one of the world’s most extreme water slides in Kansas when a 10-year-old boy was decapitated.
A subsequent lawsuit claimed the Kansas water park owner who helped design the waterslide had no technical or engineering skills. A grand jury indictment alleged the owners and operators were aware that the water slide posed a danger to riders yet continued to operate it. The tragedy led to both civil and criminal actions.
The state of Kansas brought a lawsuit against the water park and its former director of operations. It claimed a co-owner of Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City, lacked expertise to properly design Verrückt, the waterslide that killed Caleb Schwab on Aug. 7, 2016.
The complaint filed at Wyandotte County District Court in Kansas City accused a lead designer of Verrückt, of lacking engineering credentials relevant to amusement ride safety and design.
The boy’s family reportedly received an award of $20 million from the companies responsible for his death.
Although tragedies like the ones in Kansas make headlines, many other people suffer injuries on roller coasters and other fairground rides that go unreported. The notion of high octane rides being designed and built by people lacking the necessary credentials is a terrifying one.
Figures from the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), reveal more than 8,000 people are hurt every year at amusement parks. These injuries required emergency room treatment. The figures did not include an average of 3,600 people who were injured on inflatable amusement park rides and another 3,100 who are hurt on public water slides in any given year.
If you or a loved one has been hurt at Busch Gardens, Kings Dominion, at a boardwalk fun fair or elsewhere, please contact our experienced Virginia Beach injury attorneys. The owner or operator of a ride may be liable for your injuries. Call us at (757) 455-0077.