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August 31, 1999

Shockwave Coaster Accident Blamed On Rider Misconduct

Doswell, VA -- Park officials and Hanover County authorities are blaming the rider who was killed for causing the accident on the Shockwave roller coaster at Paramount's Kings Dominion last week.

According to a report by the county sheriff the blame is being pointed on "the rider's failure to follow the proper safety instructions."

Timothy Fan of Long Island City, NY flew from the coaster train as it rounded the final turn at speeds of around 40 mph. He died as a result of injuries sustained to the head after he landed on a steel walkway.

According to a report, authorities and park officials after inspecting the roller coaster found that the safety restraints were working properly at the time of the accident.

Fan for some unknown reason managed to free himself from the safety restraints. Had he obeyed the rules and stayed in the restraints he would have been alive today.

One of Fan's friends who was riding with him at the time of the incident, told officials that he watched Fan squeeze and wiggle his way out of the restraint.

Park officials and local authorities acknowledged that they have gathered a lot of evidence including statements from individuals who witnessed his reckless behavior on the ride.

Last Thursday, park officials decided after the initial conclusion to the investigation to reopen the Shockwave roller coaster and two similar attractions at two other Paramount Theme Parks.

The Shockwave is a stand-up roller coaster designed by Togo of Japan. The ride features an 84-foot drop, one inversion and a top speed of 50 mph. According to the park 13-million people have ridden the coaster without a serious injury or death since it opened in 1986.

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