Florida Roller Coaster Derails, Plunging Riders 34 Feet & Leading to Traumatic Injuries
Sadly, this just happened in June, when the “Sand Blaster” roller coaster derailed on the Daytona Beach Boardwalk, sending its riders plummeting 34 feet (10 meters, or more than three stories), and leaving several people literally hanging from the ride until they were rescued.
Incident & Injuries
Nine riders were taken to the hospital, with at least two kept due to traumatic injuries. Others fell out and hit their heads on the ground. Witnesses reported seeing people fall from the front car, while others appeared to be dangling and stuck between the car and the metal scaffolding under the track.
History of Ride Issues
According to some news sources, this particular ride has been placed out of service by state inspectors twice just in the past year due to safety issues. A stop order was placed on the ride in February of last year due to corrosion and damaged handrails, and this continued through two inspections, whereby inspectors then found damaged nuts and bolts in May 2017. In June, seats were then found damaged.
Experts Weigh in On Negligence
Serious questions remain as to who, exactly, was negligent here, as one month before the derailment, the roller coast was ordered to be taken out of service by state inspectors due to problems found with the ride. Specifically, the inspector found a crack in the track, damaged seats, and excessive corrosion. Surprisingly, these issues were noted as being “corrected” at the time of the follow-up inspection on June 7th.
Ride safety experts have called the accident “a ride operator’s worst nightmare,” and have indicated that these incidents draw attention to the need for rides to be inspected all over the country. This particular ride was revealed to be 40 years old, sitting unused for a number of years, and suspiciously moved from one location to the next. With rides like these, some experts point out that they are “like your teeth… if you don’t take care of them, they’re going to fall out.” Some have indicated that this is about the worst thing that can happen with a ride—an entire three-car train coming off the tracks indicates that a “catastrophic failure occurred.”
Florida Personal Injury Attorneys
If you or a loved one has suffered on a ride like this, you are likely going to face significant medical costs, as well as potentially deal with lifelong consequences of the accident. Contact our experienced Florida injury attorneys at Lavalle, Brown & Ronan today to find out how we can help you ensure that justice is done and you are back on your feet.