Faulty Cable, Operator Blamed For Thrill Ride Accident

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - A teenager whose feet were severed in an
accident at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom last summer likely would
have suffered only cuts and scrapes with swifter action from the
ride's operators, according to an investigation report released

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture report blamed a faulty
cable and slow response by the amusement park ride operator as the
largest factors in the accident last June. A loud noise and screams
from passengers to stop the ride gave the operator enough time to
halt it and avoid serious injuries, the report said.

"In the KDA's opinion, the injuries to the ride patrons probably would have been limited to cuts and scrapes had the emergency stop button been pressed, in accordance with training," the report said.

Kaitlyn Lasitter's legs were severed when cables snapped on the Superman Tower of Power ride at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom in
Louisville. Doctors were able to reattach her right foot, but not
her left.

Kentucky Kingdom spokesman Carolyn McLean said the park takes
the matter seriously and has audited maintenance, training and
safety procedures. She says Kentucky Kingdom is committed to the
safety of its guests and is working with the Lasitter family to ensure is taken care of.

The ride, which was closed for good after the accident, lifted passengers 177 feet, then dropped them at speeds of more than 50

State officials released their report following months of investigation.
Lasitter's family is suing Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom, claiming
the park failed to maintain the ride and equipment and ensure
riders' safety. The amusement park has denied liability in court filings.

Speaking in Washington in mid-May, Lasitter called her ordeal "horrific" and said "nobody should ever have to go through what
I've been through."

U.S. Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., is sponsoring legislation that would place amusement park rides under the jurisdiction of the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission.

State Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer told Kentucky lawmakers earlier this year that more money was needed for amusement park ride inspections throughout the state. The ride Lasitter was on, however, had received its annual inspection, Farmer said.

Earlier this year, the Kentucky General Assembly responded to the accident by passing a state law that prevents most high schoolers from operating amusement park thrill rides. The ride Lasitter was on was being operated by a 16 year old at the time of the incident.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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  • by Wow Location: Richmond on Jun 3, 2008 at 04:00 AM
    @Diane Location: Mt. Sterling I was next in line to the second to last car of a roller coaster in myrtle beach, about 13years ago. I stood talkin with a friend waiting for the current filled car to take off. When it did the very last car had two young men maybe 18-20 and they were raising their saftey bars all the way up and down screaming "STOP STOP!" being the ride makes 2 full loops upside down it could have been fatal but the operator stopped it on the acending hill and they all had to leave from a walk way on the side of the hill. I NEVER road that particular coaster again. So if you ever really do have a problem try yelling some thing like "STOP THE CABLE IS BROKEN!" that combined with a trained operator not a 16yrold kid could have prevented tragedy.
  • by Diane Location: Mt. Sterling on May 31, 2008 at 06:40 AM
    Isn't that like blaming a pilot for a crash where the engine fell off the plane? How can anyone distinguish the screaming of the usual riders from that of a horrified victim to press a stop button? No, the park and the state is passing the buck on this tragedy.


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