Articles Posted in Amusement Park Accidents

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Firefighters rescued 21 people nearly eight hours after they became stranded 125 feet up on the disabled Sky Cabin ride at Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the amusement park incident occurred the afternoon of December 30, 2016 when the ride became stuck. There were 20 passengers and one operator aboard the slow-moving ride, which gives riders panoramic views of Orange County. No one was injured although some riders appeared distraught.

The riders, both adults and children, were harnessed to firefighters who lowered them one by one. It took nearly eight hours for the entire rescue operation to be completed. The ride goes up to more than 180 feet. It apparently got stuck at 125 feet. There is no word yet on what caused the incident. Knott’s has shut down the ride until an investigation into the cause is complete. The ride got stuck on June 22, 2008 as well, but that rescue operation was completed in an hour without injuries. Continue reading →

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Sabrina Gordon, 31, a U.S. Navy veteran died after falling 36 feet off a new attraction at the San Bernardino County Fair. According to a CBS Los Angeles news report, Gordon fell the night of May 28, 2015 from the FreeDrop USA at the fairgrounds on 7th Street and Desert Knoll Drive in Victorville. Gordon was recruiting at a CrossFit booth at the fair when she made a last-minute decision to go on the non-mechanical attraction where participants jump from the top of a scaffolding-type structure on to a large air pillow.
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The Ferris wheel at Disney California Adventure Park malfunctioned the afternoon of October 2, 2014 stranding riders for nearly two hours.

According to a news report in the Orange County Register, the iconic rider, known as Mickey’s Fun Wheel, temporarily broke down.

No injuries were reported. All guests were evacuated from the ride.

About 30 people Continue reading →

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Officials are looking into how 52-year-old Rosa Ayala-Goana fell to her death while riding a rollercoaster the evening of July 19, 2013 at the Six Flags amusement park in Arlington, a suburb of Dallas.

According to a report in the Corpus-Christi Caller, witnesses said the woman was concerned moments before the 14-story Iron Rattler rollercoaster ride began that the safety bar had not completely engaged. The Tarrant County medical examiner’s office confirmed that the 52-year-old Dallas resident suffered multiple traumatic injuries during the fall.
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Three visitors to Knott’s Berry Farm suffered minor injuries when the stagecoach in which they were passengers tipped over after a wheel detached from the vehicle, according to ABC News.

There were a total of 14 passengers in the stagecoach when the crash occurred, but only three were transported to a local hospital complaining of minor injuries. Knott’s Berry Farm officials stated that the ride will be closed until a full investigation can be made into the cause of the accident.

Amusement Park Accidents More Common in Recent Months

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The Newport Beach personal injury law firm of Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys, LLP will be representing two victims of the recent Knott’s Berry Farm Pony Express ride accident, which occurred the night of October 7, 2010. We are representing victims injured in this amusement park ride accident, one of whom said that both he and his girlfriend’s mother had sustained back injuries.

The ride accident happened when the Pony Express malfunctioned and one of the trains drifted backward and hit another set of cars. The Knott’s Berry Farm accident is being investigated by the California Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH), which oversees amusement parks. Ten people were transported to the hospital with what were described as “minor” injuries. The investigation of this injury accident could take several days or even weeks.

My heart goes out to everyone who was injured in this ride accident. I wish all the victims here the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.
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Improper Maintenance Blamed for Amusement Park Ride Accident

A Yo-Yo Chair Ride that crashed during the Calaveras County Fair in May injuring 21 children was not properly maintained by its owner, the California Department of Industrial Relations has ruled. According to an Associated Press news article, the state department’s report found a damaged washer had failed to hold a pair of nuts in place on the Yo-Yo Chair Ride. That apparently caused the ride’s swing arms to collapse causing 21 amusement park ride injuries on the Yo-Yo Chair Ride.

The report also said that the ride’s owner, Brass Ring Amusements Midway of Fun, operated the ride without the required inspections, certifications and documentation that was needed to make sure the ride was safe. The ride owner is based in Oroville, California.

The amusement park accident at Calaveras County Fair was one of two California ride accidents that led Chance Rides Manufacturing Inc. to recall 85 defective Yo-Yo rides in October. The other accident occurred in Angels Camp, California injuring 23 people. In addition, a third incident in March 2006, involved a Yo-Yo ride in Six Flags in Arlington, Texas, that malfunctioned. Nine people suffered bruises as well as back and neck injuries in that ride accident. The Wichita, Kansas based amusement park ride manufacturer recalled the rides to repair defects.
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Eight people were taken to the hospital for treatment of minor injuries after they were injured in an amusement park escalator accident at Universal Studios on November 17, 2008, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. The accident occurred at the theme park at 3900 Lankershim Boulevard after the escalator started to suddenly malfunction. Park officials said the escalator, which connects two levels of the park, came to sudden stop and for unknown reasons went into reverse, throwing visitors off their feet and down the stairwell. The malfunctioning escalator was also situated on a hillside.

It is fortunate that there were no serious injuries as a result of this escalator malfunction. I hope the injuries described in this newspaper article as “minor” were in fact minor and wish the injured victims the very best for a speedy recovery.
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The family of Lena Dickerson is suing Disneyland, claiming the toddler was attacked by a dog in the park’s petting zoo on October 3, 2006 according to a report on Fox News. The child was bit several times on the face leaving her permanently scarred.

Court documents allege that a Disneyland employee brought her 6-year-old German Shepherd – Labrador Retriever mix dog to the park. The dog was placed on a box in the Big Thunder petting zoo. A park employee invited children to pet the animal, while holding its leash. Lena had petted the dog and was just about to leave when the dog attacked her.

Apparently, the shelter from which the dog had been adopted had called the dog “not very social” and even stated that the animal had a history of being aggressive. The lawsuit seeks compensation for the family’s medical costs and emotional trauma as well as punitive damages. Disney officials have not commented yet on this lawsuit.

In California dog attack cases, the owner of a dog is strictly liable for the damage, which that dog causes by biting someone, “regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.” (California Civil Code section 3342.) If the plaintiffs can prove that Disneyland was an owner of the dog, then they would have established liability for the compensatory damages that may be recoverable in their action. This doesn’t seem likely if the Dickerson family is alleging that “…a Disneyland employee brought her…dog to the park”.

Corporations become responsible for the acts of employees if it has knowingly ratified or accepted the benefit of the employee’s actions, like bring a dog into the petting zoo. The alleged use of the dog in the petting zoo and in parades might be consistent with Disneyland acting as if it is the owner of the dog.

Where, as here, the property is a commercial property open to the public which is invited onto the property, the owner is under a duty to frequently inspect their property and is charged with the knowledge of dangerous conditions it would have gained from those inspections. The plaintiffs might prevail if they can establish that Disneyland knew or should have known the dog was in the petting zoo and may be a danger to Disneyland patrons.
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An amusement park ride at the Calaveras County Fair called the Yo-Yo injured 23 people, three of them seriously when its swings collapsed, according to a news article in the Modesto Bee. The large swing-style ride that lifts the swing seats into the air on long chains and spins in circles broke apart injuring a number of children on the ride. 20 children suffered from welts and bruises from road rashes and getting hit by the ride’s equipment and the remaining three children with the most serious injuries were airlifted to area hospitals.

While the ride owner and operator – Midway of Fun, an Oroville-based company, did not talk to the media, officials from the local police department and the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) who investigated the incident told the San Francisco Chronicle that the center hub of the ride, from which its arms extend, stopped rotating or worked intermittently.

Amusement parks are required to have constant inspections of their rides and attractions, as are carnival operators. When carnival ride accidents occur, the injuries are usually quite significant because of the number of people involved and the size and weight of the ride equipment. These rides have the ability crush, pin and eject riders, causing catastrophic injuries. In 2004 alone there were 2,500 amusement ride related injuries reported in the United States, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
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