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Carnival and Amusement Park Accidents on Both Coasts

As we frequently state on this blog, when parents, grandparents, or other family members take children to a fairground, carnival, or theme park they expect to fine well-maintain and well-designed facilities staffed by conscientious workers. However, as we all too often find, mistakes, unexpected events and other foreseen and unforeseen problems can occur at parks of all sizes and types. When these undesired events occur, the risk of a serious accident producing life-altering injuries increases greatly.

Unfortunately, accidents at multiple parks marred what should have been a beautiful June weekend. Multiple accidents at a fair in Maine made-up the fair and carnival accidents occurring on the east coast. On the west coast, a major rollercoaster accident at California’s Great America amusement park accident occurred. Also, an incident still under investigation incident occurred at California’s Magic Mountain theme park this weekend.

The Waterville Carnival Coaster Accident

Recently Maine moved away from its old system of inspecting carnival and amusement rides. Previously, local municipalities were in charge of overseeing the safety inspection for amusement rides. However, after a previous accident at a local fair, authority to regulate the parks was transferred to the Office of the State Fire Marshall. It is important to note that the ride was inspected in this case, however inspectors did not identify any problems with the ride. Whether this accident shows issues with the new inspection regime, transitionary growing pains, or a mere coincidence is yet to be seen, but let’s delve a bit further in the accidents and their circumstances.

The carnival at Waterville, Maine is a smaller-scale traveling carnival that opened on last Thursday evening. Unfortunately a little after 7 p.m. of Friday evening, carnival workers and guest heard a loud bang followed by chaos and seeing children with bloodied faces. Apparently the Dragon Wagon, a smaller-scale rollercoaster for kids, malfunctioned and came apart while in operation. The cause of the rollercoaster’s mechanical failure is not currently known. Most of the known injuries are superficial in nature including bloodied noses, however one of the injured children was taken to a local hospital for treatment.


Serious Injuries on California’s Great America Flight Deck Rollercoaster

Also occurring on Friday evening, a park employee and a park guest suffered serious injuries. Initial news reports appear to indicate that human error is to blame for the accident. A park employee was requested to retrieve the cell phone a park guest had lost while riding on the coaster. It is unclear whether the maintenance worker did not see the train care or whether he thought the care was traveling on a different track, but the worker was struck by the rollercoaster train filled with passengers as it sped around the track.

Eyewitnesses to the event described a harrowing scene. Some reported watching the maintenance worker body being dragged by the rollercoaster train for 10 to 15 feet. The maintenance worker suffered serious, traumatic head injuries. Another park guest riding in the coaster suffered mild to moderate injuries.

Girl Found Unconscious After Riding Rollercoaster at Magic Mountain

Also on Friday evening a currently unexplained incident occurred at the Magic Mountain theme park. After riding the Revolution, a monstrous 113-foot looping coaster, park employees found a young girl unconscious, but breathing. Eyewitnesses report a chaotic scene as paramedics and first-responders worked to help the girl, but concrete details remain scant.

The girl was lifted to a local area hospital with a parent. While the ride did not re-open, officials have not indicated whether a problem with the ride, an underlying medical issue, or whether another reason was responsible for the situation. Also, the 10 year-old girl’s condition or injuries remain unspecified.


Remain cautious at fairs and theme parks

Carnivals, fairs amusement parks, and other attractions can provide a day of fun, but parents must fully consider the risks before attending a park. If you or your child has suffered a serious injury injury at an amusement park, contact an experienced amusement park injury lawyer by calling (215) 709-6940 or contact us online.

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