5 Unsafe Roller Coasters That Have Histories Of Accidents So You Should Maybe Think Twice Before Riding
What is up with roller coasters screwing up recently? Unsafe roller coasters, luckily, are quite rare to come across, but that doesn't mean accidents never happen. They do. And it doesn't help that things like the Universal roller coaster hoax have a way of sabotaging theme park season. Like, people planning vacations in Orlando are probably pretty nervous. Even though almost always there's nothing to worry about, there are still some moderately dangerous roller coasters operating out there you should consider avoiding.
I grew up in Florida, land of theme parks. Since I spent childhood years in North Florida specifically, I didn't come in direct contact with the places or the people working at them much until college. My state school in Jacksonville attracted many young Orlando denizens as an opportunity to flee their hometown. A close friend of mine took on a high school job at Universal Studios. His gig was stationed in a gift shop where he was expected to wear a cheerful, tie-dyed uniform and pre-game his shift speeding across the sky riding any number of the park's roller coasters. It sounds like a killer way to do your teens, IMO. (Not to mention we got to benefit from his continued holiday shifts by visiting the park for free since we were with ~an insider~.) Anyway, he made sure to explain the careful process the park took to test the coasters daily.
So intellectually, I understood the rides were safe. Yet when you do a little digging on Google, you start to question these things. They are all probably fine, but if you're the worrisome sort, this is good info to know. Here are some roller coasters that are said to have questionable histories—so maybe you should think twice before riding:
New Texas Giant (Six Flags Over Texas, Arlington, Texas)
In the summer of 2013, a woman shot from her seat on Texas Giant fell 75 feet, struck a support beam, and died. The park took 18 months to refurbish the ride and add more safety features, reopening at New Texas Giant. No, thank you!
Dragon Wagon (traveling, operated by Smokey's Greater Shows)
This traveling ride, at the moment set up at park in Waterville, Maine, experienced a mechanical error Friday night, injuring three children. Two cars became unclipped, sending three children to the hospital. They were all treated and released since then.
Cyclone (Coney Island's Luna Park, Brooklyn, NY)
The Americana classic ride (no, seriously, Cyclone's been carrying passengers since 1927) has a slightly dark history of accidents—even in recent years including one in 2007 and another the next year. Although I gotta say, I rode this one myself last summer and emerged OK, albeit a bit headachey from the coaster's wooden structure.
Revolution (Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California)
A 10-year-old passed out on this roller coaster the park billed as "one of the most famous and iconic looping roller coasters in the world" last week and was airlifted to a hospital, where she died Saturday. On Tuesday Los Angeles County Coroner's Office said Jasmine Martinez died of natural causes unrelated to the ride, but...still seems pretty scary. Revolution reopened Saturday night.
Flight Deck (Great America in Santa Clara, California)
Last week, the same day of the Martinez incident, another person was traumatically injured near Flight Deck. An employee working the coaster was reportedly struck badly in the head by a passenger while attempting to retrieve a cellphone. A witness said the ride dragged the worker between 10 and 15 feet. Apparently the man was "alert and talking" when taken to the hospital. As of this past Sunday, Flight Deck was still closed. The same ride killed a man in 1998 when he tried to grab his wife's hat from the coasts path and a passenger's foot took a severe blow to his head.