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Ultimate Rollercoaster > Discussion Forums > Roller Coasters, Parks & Attractions > Roller Coaster Cars Fly Off The Track - Ever Really Happen?

Roller Coaster Cars Fly Off The Track - Ever Really Happen?

Eric_Gieszl Eric_Gieszl Profile

Posted:
6/29/07 at
1:31:45 PM

I'm splitting the discussion about The Bat and cars flying off the track from the thread about SFKK Accident into this new thread.

Every month I get several e-mails asking for information about or insisting that a roller coaster car flew off the track on some roller coaster.

Have any of you ever found any credible information you can share about such an accident at any time or place? News articles, detailed web sites

I've done some research on the early 1900's and the problem is roller coaster accidents were not considered "newsworthy" events, so they got very little if any press. That goes to show how times change.

Eric

Re: Roller Coaster Cars Fly Off The Track - Ever Really Happ by deeturnerjr at 6/29/07 2:21:37 PM

> I've done some research on the early 1900's and the problem
> is roller coaster accidents were not considered
> "newsworthy" events, so they got very little if
> any press. That goes to show how times change.

> Eric

>

I think it is just that everything is "newsworthy" in the eyes of contemporary press vs the old press. If someone sneezes and it doesnt come out green it is on the 6 o'clock news LOL!
Also the amusement park industry has grown leaps and bounds since the early 1900's and now attracts more press, imo.
WIth that said, there is a fine line between good informative press, and BS.

Sorry to get off topic with your new thread Eric, LOL!

Re: Roller Coaster Cars Fly Off The Track - Ever Really Happ by CoasterFanatic CoasterFanatic Profile at 6/29/07 3:17:29 PM

> I'm splitting the discussion about The Bat and cars flying
> off the track from the thread about SFKK Accident into
> this new thread.

> Every month I get several e-mails asking for information
> about or insisting that a roller coaster car flew off the
> track on some roller coaster.

> Have any of you ever found any credible information you can
> share about such an accident at any time or place? News
> articles, detailed web sites

> I've done some research on the early 1900's and the problem
> is roller coaster accidents were not considered
> "newsworthy" events, so they got very little if
> any press. That goes to show how times change.

Cyclones derailed or had track failure a few times over the years. It came to rest against a bent about 10 years ago and only a couple years go aparently the track split and it came to s a sudden stop on one of it's drops.

As for THE BAT, NOBODY WAS EVER SERIOUSLY HURT ON THAT RIDE.

Chuck

SOB's loop in Norway. I can't believe it!

Re: Roller Coaster Cars Fly Off The Track - Ever Really Happ by DAFE_Rick DAFE_Rick Profile at 6/29/07 3:44:10 PM

Somewhere in my "archive" I have a copy of 1940's news article of an accident at Craig Beach Amusement Park in Ohio. A train reportedly left the tracks and crashed onto the midway killing several people. The FOLLOWING train made the circuit with no problem!

The owner sold the coaster and it was moved to another park. I have vague memories of the park as a child in the early 60's. Even then the only thing left was a couple kiddie rides and a Ferris wheel.

Rick

Re: Roller Coaster Cars Fly Off The Track - Ever Really Happ by RobLec RobLec Profile at 6/29/07 6:16:23 PM

> an accident at Craig Beach Amusement Park
> in Ohio. A train reportedly left the tracks and crashed
> onto the midway ... I have vague memories of the park as a child in the
> early 60's. Even then the only thing left was a couple
> kiddie rides and a Ferris wheel.

Such are my memories of Indian Lake at Russell's Point. I remember seeing the wooden coaster with a section of track missing. Unfortunately I was never able to ride it. (Instead, my first coaster would be the Shooting Star). The one attraction I most vividly remember however was the funhouse.

Re: Roller Coaster Cars Fly Off The Track - Ever Really Happ by CoasterFanatic CoasterFanatic Profile at 6/29/07 6:26:02 PM

> an accident at Craig Beach Amusement Park
> in Ohio. A train reportedly left the tracks and crashed
> onto the midway ... I have vague memories of the park as a
> child in the
> early 60's. Even then the only thing left was a couple
> kiddie rides and a Ferris wheel.

> Such are my memories of Indian Lake at Russell's Point. I
> remember seeing the wooden coaster with a section of track
> missing. Unfortunately I was never able to ride it.
> (Instead, my first coaster would be the Shooting Star). The
> one attraction I most vividly remember however was the
> funhouse.

I don't know what happened at Indiana Lake. I was told there was a major accident. The park floundered for a couple seasons and closed.

My dad and Uncle were regular visitors there when they were young and a friend of theirs I later worked with would never ride a coaster until 1995 as he said he was there when it happened.

Chuck, who says this is all second hand but if anyone can dig up some old news on that. Id appreciate it

SOB's loop in Norway. I can't believe it!

Re: Roller Coaster Cars Fly Off The Track - Ever Really Happ by Acrophile Acrophile Profile at 6/29/07 6:41:59 PM

> Have any of you ever found any credible information you can
> share about such an accident at any time or place? News
> articles, detailed web sites

No documentation yet, for or against. The only "sources" either way are coming from people like you and me, and can be believed only as such. Even those saying it never happened. They quote other websites written by other people who aren't news sources or scientists or historians.

My own research, such as it is, has coome up with **four** people who grew up in the immediate vicinity of Kings Island (Kings Mills and Loveland Ohio) who **do** remember this being in the local news. I do stand corrected on at least one point, though: Apparently the "innocent bystander" issue didn't happen. But the consensus is that a car *did* in fact detach and at least one rider *was* killed. That is why Arrow Dynamics removed the Bat and put in the Vortex for a song (relatively speaking).

I have an archaeologist friend who is great at research. He's also one of the folks from Loveland. If he can't find anything, then the most I would say is that it's an unsolved mystery.

Re: Roller Coaster Cars Fly Off The Track - Ever Really Happ by Eric_Gieszl Eric_Gieszl Profile at 6/29/07 7:54:28 PM

> Sorry to get off topic with your new thread Eric, LOL!

You're just steering us in all sorts of directions. ;-) Is there such a thing as drunk threading?

Re: Roller Coaster Cars Fly Off The Track - Ever Really Happ by CoasterFanatic CoasterFanatic Profile at 6/29/07 8:35:51 PM

Accidents and deaths at PKI go something like this that have been in the news or are documented.

Tower Johnny. Early 80s I believe. Teen under influence climbs tower from fifty foot level. got struck by elivator counter weights.

King Cobra. Operator killed when crossing tracks in station and being hit by oncomming train.

King Cobra. 8 people complain of back injuries when rear car wheel brakes and it bounces around between the track and finally comes to a stop.

Lion country Safari. Park employee killed by lion when attempting to fee by hand.

Flight commander, Woman falls to death, only finding is they thing she tried to get out.

Two die, one seriously injured lake fountain death when guy falls in and two try to save him. Shorting electrical fountain with improper wiring.

Vortex derails rear car of train, completes circut riders complaining of pain. it never left the track just banged around a bit.

SOB, Broken neck, Pre existing bone deterioration condition

Top Gun. Woman dies after returning not breathing. Never got the reason. think Anurism or heart attack but don't know for sure

Anything else is folklore unless im forgetting something.

The Bat was closed several and more often than not over it's short two and a half year life. It was all related to the fact the brake fins were on the bottom of swinging cars and in the beginning it didn't even have shocks. It also wasn't banked enough.

To my knowledge nobody was ever hurt from The Bat. It never flew off the tracks ect and ARROW took the trains back.

Chuck, who just meant it's a little off base to state such things without having any proof.

> Have any of you ever found any credible information you can
> share about such an accident at any time or place? News
> articles, detailed web sites

> No documentation yet, for or against. The only
> "sources" either way are coming from people like
> you and me, and can be believed only as such. Even those
> saying it never happened. They quote other websites written
> by other people who aren't news sources or scientists or
> historians.

> My own research, such as it is, has coome up with **four**
> people who grew up in the immediate vicinity of Kings
> Island (Kings Mills and Loveland Ohio) who **do** remember
> this being in the local news. I do stand corrected on at
> least one point, though: Apparently the "innocent
> bystander" issue didn't happen. But the consensus is
> that a car *did* in fact detach and at least one rider
> *was* killed. That is why Arrow Dynamics removed the Bat
> and put in the Vortex for a song (relatively speaking).

> I have an archaeologist friend who is great at research.
> He's also one of the folks from Loveland. If he can't find
> anything, then the most I would say is that it's an
> unsolved mystery.

SOB's loop in Norway. I can't believe it!

Re: Roller Coaster Cars Fly Off The Track - Ever Really Happ by RobLec RobLec Profile at 6/29/07 9:23:51 PM

Thanks Chuck for the rundown, which seems to be quite thorough.
And Oh BTW your reply on Indian Lake got mixed in another thread.
There's some history at the top of Neg-G's defunct coasters page.

I hope Acrophile can get those four references to provide some details about the Bat flying off the track, as no one else seems to have ever heard of it.

Re: Roller Coaster Cars Fly Off The Track - Ever Really Happ by SirWillow SirWillow Profile at 6/29/07 11:34:50 PM

> I hope Acrophile can get those four references to provide
> some details about the Bat flying off the track, as no one
> else seems to have ever heard of it.

It's not even that no one else ever heard of it. It's not in any documented sources at all- no newspapers of the time, no tv news media, no media at all. If it had happened, it would have been documented in the news somewhere at some point. It's not documented because it never happened.

The Bat was removed because of heavy maintenance costs and issues. The excessive swinging without shock absorbers put a ton of stress on the trains. the brake fins being on the bottom of the trains instead of the top near the track meant that often they didn't line up when approaching the brake sections and caused damage and excess wear. It took a lot of work to keep it from tearing itself up- work that wasn't worth it. That's why they removed it. Not because of any accident.

And with Vortex opening 4 years after the Bat closed, it seems more like it was a decision made well after the Bat was already done and gone, and not some speedy decision to try to put in a quick replacement for it.

Re: Roller Coaster Cars Fly Off The Track - Ever Really Happ by RobLec RobLec Profile at 6/30/07 12:14:55 AM

Yeah, I pretty much knew all that about the Bat and Vortex.
My remark about Acrophile was facetious. Perhaps your post
was actually targeted at anyone reading who is not so familiar
with the park's history. (I'm trying to not sound smug here).

Re: Roller Coaster Cars Fly Off The Track - Ever Really Happ by DAFE_Rick DAFE_Rick Profile at 6/30/07 9:38:31 AM

Here is your documentation-
(Warren, Ohio) Tribune Chronicle- August 9, 1941-

THREE LOCAL RESIDENTS ARE VICTIMS

Car Goes Off Track On Curve, Plunges 15 Feet To Ground At Amusement Park

MANY WITNESS ACCIDENT

Tragedy Climaxes District Picnic Of Negro Church School Classes

A 17-year-ole Meadville, PA, youth was killed instantly and 10 persons, including three Warren residents, were injured about 1 a. m. today when a double-carriage roller coaster jumped the track at Craig Beach Park, Lake Milton, and plunged 15 feet to the ground.

The accident occured, according to a report made by Sheriff Ralph Elser and Deputy Sheriffs Harry Smith and Robert Bartolett of Mahoning County, near the conclusion of an all-day Sunday school picnic which attracted 4000-5000 members of colored churches in northeastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania to the park.

The dead- Dolphus Wooten, 17, 1224 Water St. Meadville, PA

The injured- (article listed names and address of the 10 injured people)

DOZEN IN CAR

A dozen persons, all colored, were riding in the car which jumped the track on a down-grade curve near the end of the ride. The tandem vehicle crashed thru the guard rail, twisting as it shot down about 20 feet into spce before landing upside down. Sone of the cocupnts were hurled out by the impact while others, including Wooten, rode the vehicle to the ground.

The car was only slightly damaged.

The accident occurred on the "home stretch" of the ride and the accident was witnessed by the....

(Unfortunately, I don't have the rest of the article! Somewhere I think I read another article saying that that the train behind this one made the curve with no problem. A later article, probably someone remembering the park, mentions that the coaster was sold and moved to another park.)

Rick

Re: Roller Coaster Cars Fly Off The Track - Ever Really Happ by deeturnerjr at 6/30/07 11:15:22 AM

Ive been searching Lexus/Nexus for a little while now to try and find news articles. Not much has turned up yet. I did find the article from when King Cobra's wheel assembly fell off:

--------------------------------------------------------------
A roller coaster on which eight people were injured when the wheel assembly fell off a car will remain closed until an investigation is complete, the Kings Island amusement park announced Thursday.

Engineers from Togo Inc., the Tokyo, Japan, firm which designed the King Cobra roller coaster, will oversee inspection of the car that triggered Wednesday's accident, a park spokesman said. The engineers were scheduled to arrive Friday at the amusement park, 20 miles north of Cincinnati.

Eight people went to a nearby hospital after the accident. Seven were treated and released Wednesday, and the eighth was released Thursday, a spokeswoman for Bethesda North Hospital said.

The popular King Cobra ride, opened April 22, is the nation's only roller coaster designed to transport riders in a standing position throughout the trip, Kings Island officials say. The looping coaster hits speeds of 50 mph during a two-minute trip and takes riders through two giant circles of 360 degrees or more.

Bob Schultz, director of marketing at Kings Island, said the accident occurred at about 8:45 p.m. Wednesday when a wheel assembly on the last car of the roller coaster train broke off and fell to the ground. The coaster stopped after the crippled car's frame began rubbing against the rail, Schultz said. The car remained attached to the rest of the train and did not fall.

Passengers, who were strapped in the ride when it stopped in a 540-degree turn parallel to the ground, were left hanging seven feet off the ground until restraints could be manually released, which took about 15 minutes.

After the accident, officials closed the section of Kings Island in which the King Cobra is located. The rest of the park remained open until the regular 10 p.m. closing.

"We don't know what caused the assembly to fall off," Schultz said. "We'll disassemble the car under the supervision of the engineers from the Japanese firm that designed it. We need to know exactly why the wheel assembly came off."

All of the park's rides are inspected daily before business hours, Schultz said. "We have never had a ride-related fatality, and obviously we didn't on this, either," he said.

Last month, a woman fell to her death at Six Flags Over Mid-America in Eureka, Mo., from a standup roller coaster which had been converted from a sit-down ride. Investigators at first said they thought the victim might have fainted and slipped from the restraints, but an autopsy revealed that a U-shaped chest harness may not have been strapped tightly enough against her body. The ride was reopened Wednesday.

Kings Island officials declared the King Cobra safe, saying it had been built for standing riders and that two similar roller coasters had been operating safely in Japan for more than a year.
----------------------------------------------------------------

Another article about a woman that fell out of "Rail Blazer" at Six Flags St. Louis. Was this the sitdown coaster that was converted to a stand up?:

----------------------------------------------------------------
A woman was flung 20 feet to her death from a new stand-up roller coaster ride Saturday. Her husband discounted the explanation of the amusement park and said he was considering a suit.

A spokesman for the park said Stella Holcomb, 46 years old, who was from Indianapolis, might have fainted before she was flung from the ride at Six Flags Over Mid-America. Her husband, Carl, said it was not the case.

Mr. Holcomb, who was with his wife on the Rail Blazer ride, said it ''just whipped'' and threw her out. ''I had hold of her hand when she left me,'' he said. ''I was there. She like to pull me out. That car was just like a whip. It jerked real bad when we came around that curve and she just flipped out.''

Mr. Holcomb said he was considering a lawsuit but did not offer details.

The park spokesman, Laurie Odum, said park officials could could give no other explanation than fainting to account for Mrs. Holcomb's fall.

The ride, on which occupants stand up, is the third in the country. Worlds of Fun in Kansas City, Mo., opened one last year and another opened this year at Cincinnati's King's Island.
---------------------------------------------------------------

Other than that mostly they are just articles about new coasters opening. I found an original article from when The Bat opened:

---------------------------------------------------------------
According to F.R. Bush, vice president and general manager of Kings Island, the Bat is ''a completely new concept in thrill rides. The tracks are above the trains and the cars hang down from steel bars attached to the tracks. Riders no longer have the psychological security of the steel tracks and wooden support beams below them. All of the structural work is above the riders, so it is often difficult to see the next turn. In addition, when the coaster train turns a corner, the cars are designed to sway out to the side, sometimes swinging the riders parallel to the ground.''

The Bat consists of three seven-car trains, each with a capacity of 28 riders, and travels at a top speed of 35 miles an hour. The total track length is 2,456 feet.
---------------------------------------------------------------

Ill search a little longer, but my eyes are bugging out of my head, LOL!

DEE

Re: Roller Coaster Cars Fly Off The Track - Ever Really Happ by Corkscrew_Foley Corkscrew_Foley Profile at 6/30/07 1:37:39 PM

Wasn't there something recently about RWB derailing too?

Yes Eric, there is drunk threading, I'm sure many of us have doen it, myself included. :D

Tim.

Re: Roller Coaster Cars Fly Off The Track - Ever Really Happ by CoasterFanatic CoasterFanatic Profile at 6/30/07 6:42:48 PM

Wow, If that article were written today thered be lawsuits on the article.

Times have changed, FOR THE BETTER

Chuck

> Here is your documentation-
> (Warren, Ohio) Tribune Chronicle- August 9, 1941-

> THREE LOCAL RESIDENTS ARE VICTIMS

> Car Goes Off Track On Curve, Plunges 15 Feet To Ground At
> Amusement Park

> MANY WITNESS ACCIDENT

> Tragedy Climaxes District Picnic Of Negro Church School
> Classes

> A 17-year-ole Meadville, PA, youth was killed instantly and
> 10 persons, including three Warren residents, were injured
> about 1 a. m. today when a double-carriage roller coaster
> jumped the track at Craig Beach Park, Lake Milton, and
> plunged 15 feet to the ground.

> The accident occured, according to a report made by Sheriff
> Ralph Elser and Deputy Sheriffs Harry Smith and Robert
> Bartolett of Mahoning County, near the conclusion of an
> all-day Sunday school picnic which attracted 4000-5000
> members of colored churches in northeastern Ohio and
> western Pennsylvania to the park.

> The dead- Dolphus Wooten, 17, 1224 Water St. Meadville, PA

> The injured- (article listed names and address of the 10
> injured people)

> DOZEN IN CAR

> A dozen persons, all colored, were riding in the car which
> jumped the track on a down-grade curve near the end of the
> ride. The tandem vehicle crashed thru the guard rail,
> twisting as it shot down about 20 feet into spce before
> landing upside down. Sone of the cocupnts were hurled out
> by the impact while others, including Wooten, rode the
> vehicle to the ground.

> The car was only slightly damaged.

> The accident occurred on the "home stretch" of
> the ride and the accident was witnessed by the....

> (Unfortunately, I don't have the rest of the article!
> Somewhere I think I read another article saying that that
> the train behind this one made the curve with no problem. A
> later article, probably someone remembering the park,
> mentions that the coaster was sold and moved to another
> park.)

> Rick

>

SOB's loop in Norway. I can't believe it!

Re: Roller Coaster Cars Fly Off The Track - Ever Really Happ by marshall409 at 7/9/07 5:22:23 PM

> Wow, If that article were written today thered be lawsuits
> on the article.

> Times have changed, FOR THE BETTER

> Chuck

> Here is your documentation-
> (Warren, Ohio) Tribune Chronicle- August 9, 1941-

> THREE LOCAL RESIDENTS ARE VICTIMS

> Car Goes Off Track On Curve, Plunges 15 Feet To Ground At
> Amusement Park

> MANY WITNESS ACCIDENT

> Tragedy Climaxes District Picnic Of Negro Church School
> Classes

> A 17-year-ole Meadville, PA, youth was killed instantly and
> 10 persons, including three Warren residents, were injured
> about 1 a. m. today when a double-carriage roller coaster
> jumped the track at Craig Beach Park, Lake Milton, and
> plunged 15 feet to the ground.

> The accident occured, according to a report made by Sheriff
> Ralph Elser and Deputy Sheriffs Harry Smith and Robert
> Bartolett of Mahoning County, near the conclusion of an
> all-day Sunday school picnic which attracted 4000-5000
> members of colored churches in northeastern Ohio and
> western Pennsylvania to the park.

> The dead- Dolphus Wooten, 17, 1224 Water St. Meadville, PA

> The injured- (article listed names and address of the 10
> injured people)

> DOZEN IN CAR

> A dozen persons, all colored, were riding in the car which
> jumped the track on a down-grade curve near the end of the
> ride. The tandem vehicle crashed thru the guard rail,
> twisting as it shot down about 20 feet into spce before
> landing upside down. Sone of the cocupnts were hurled out
> by the impact while others, including Wooten, rode the
> vehicle to the ground.

> The car was only slightly damaged.

> The accident occurred on the "home stretch" of
> the ride and the accident was witnessed by the....

> (Unfortunately, I don't have the rest of the article!
> Somewhere I think I read another article saying that that
> the train behind this one made the curve with no problem. A
> later article, probably someone remembering the park,
> mentions that the coaster was sold and moved to another
> park.)

> Rick
if it helps in anyones research at all, i believe that coaster is now located at Darien Lake (formerly Six Flags) in upstate New York.
Adam

Re: Roller Coaster Cars Fly Off The Track - Ever Really Happ by peach2580 at 6/23/09 7:58:29 PM

I was on the King Cobra when it crashed in 1984. The last car came off the track, swung underneath the track, and got caught. It was pretty traumatic....And we weren't upside down for 15 minutes, it was more like an hour and a half.

Re: Roller Coaster Cars Fly Off The Track - Ever Really Happ by Link Link Profile at 6/24/09 8:04:47 AM

If my history is correct, Mindbender at Galaxyland in Alberta, Canada, whose last car became derailed, decapitated two people.

* This Post Has Been Modified *

Re: Roller Coaster Cars Fly Off The Track - Ever Really Happ by LONNOL at 6/24/09 8:31:13 AM

I think the afore-mentioned Mindbender is probably the most famous. It was just a terrible, terrible accident. In addition, I would venture to say that the times this has happened it is more likely a wheel assembly failure as opposed to bad track, but there are always exceptions.

Adam

Re: Roller Coaster Cars Fly Off The Track - Ever Really Happ by rocketmover at 6/24/09 8:43:17 AM

A long time ago I researched court cases involving roller coaster accidents - there were quite a few, mostly very old, but useful for historical info. Anyone who has access to legal research can do the same - one small examample (from Ohio, Hamilton County, Cincinatti area - Chester Park - opinion in 1918, accident probably a year or so before that)

The defendants, Isaac M. and Jacob M. Martin, were operating an amusement park known as Chester Park at the time involved in this law-suit. The plaintiff, Agnes Sentker, received some bodily injuries while a passenger on the rear car of a three-car [*47] train on a device known as the "Tango Dips," commonly known as a coaster. The rear car of said train left the track while the same rounded a curve, and plaintiff was injured. Suit was brought in the court below to recover damages for her injuries, and, upon trial, resulted in a verdict and judgment of five hundred dollars in her favor, from which error is prosecuted to this court to reverse the same.