Woman Files Lawsuit After Suffering Permanent Injuries from Flying Metal on World Second Tallest Rollercoaster

news 13-Jul-2023 World News

Woman Files Lawsuit After Suffering Permanent Injuries from Flying Metal on World's Second Tallest Rollercoaster

Woman Sues Amusement Park After Sustaining Permanent Injuries from Flying Metal Piece on World's Second Tallest Rollercoaster

A woman has filed a lawsuit against an amusement park after being permanently injured by a metal piece that flew off the world's second tallest rollercoaster. Rachel Hawes, a 45-year-old woman, was struck by the metal while waiting in line for Cedar Point's Top Thrill Dragster in 2021.

In August of that year, Hawes and her father, Robert Edmonds, along with other family members, visited the park and joined the line to ride the Top Thrill Dragster. While waiting, a large piece of metal detached from the ride and hit Hawes.

Hawes was immediately taken to the hospital, where she received treatment for a skull fracture and traumatic brain injuries. It was later discovered that the metal piece was a proximity flag plate that was inadequately secured to one of the ride's cars.

According to the lawsuit, "The proximity flag plate came off the Top Thrill Dragster roller coaster as a result of the bolts holding it in place becoming loose (backing out) and breaking, failing to hold the plate in its proper position." The lawsuit alleges that Cedar Point was negligent in failing to detect the loose bolts and in not providing sufficient protection for guests in the waiting area.

The incident caused Hawes to sustain permanent injuries, including an open skull fracture, a cerebral hemorrhage, and multiple traumatic brain injuries. She required a ventriculoperitoneal shunt to be placed in her head. The medical expenses incurred by Hawes have already reached $2 million, with her attorneys estimating future costs to be as high as $10 million.

The lawsuit states, "She will need assistance with activities of daily living for the remainder of her life. She is permanently disabled and will no longer be able to work as a result of the defendant's negligence."

A state investigation into the incident determined that the park was not criminally liable, and operators had no reason to believe that the coaster was unsafe. However, the Top Thrill Dragster was permanently closed in September 2022 while the investigation was ongoing.

Prior to its closure, the Top Thrill Dragster was the second tallest rollercoaster in the world. It was known for propelling thrill-seekers to speeds of up to 120 miles per hour in a mere 3.8 seconds.

The lawsuit brought by Rachel Hawes highlights the importance of ensuring the safety of amusement park rides and the responsibility of park operators to regularly inspect and maintain their attractions. With the incident resulting in permanent injuries and substantial medical expenses, the case serves as a reminder of the potential risks involved in amusement park activities and the need for adequate safeguards to protect visitors.


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