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Darwin claims another

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by poindexter, Jun 29, 2008.

  1. poindexter

    poindexter Well-Known Member

    Teenager loses his head when he climbs two walls to get to Batman the Ride at Six Flags Over Georgia - and gets decapitated by the ride.

    UPDATED: 12:05 p.m. June 29, 2008
    Boy decapitated by roller coaster at Six Flags Over Georgia
    Victim from Springfield, S.C., identified

    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
    Published on: 06/28/08

    The popular "Batman the Ride" rollercoaster at Six Flags Over Georgia remained closed Sunday while authorities continued investigating the death of a teenager who jumped over two fences and was struck by the ride.

    The 17-year-old South Carolina teen who died was identified as Asia Leeshawn Ferguson, of Springfield, S.C. He was on a church outing when the incident occurred about 2 p.m. Saturday. It was the second Batman ride-related death at the Cobb County park.
    ALLEN SULLIVAN / aesullivan@ajc.com
    People board a MARTA bus at Six Flags Over Georgia.

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    According to police and the amusement park, Ferguson and a friend climbed over two 6-foot fences -- a wrought-iron style park perimeter fence and a second chainlink fence around the Batman ride -- as a shortcut to get back into the park after lunch. Signs about 40 to 50 feet apart on the outer fence warn that it is a "restricted area" for "authorized personnel only."

    According to park officials, a sign on a locked gate at the chain link fence also reads "Danger zone" and "Do not enter."

    Ferguson was decapitated when the ride struck him, police said.

    "It is still unclear why the two men were trying to gain access to this unauthorized area," park spokeswoman Hela Sheth told reporters Saturday, reading from a prepared statement.

    She declined to answer questions at a news conference and did not return calls seeking more information.

    The teen was with a group from Oakley Spring Baptist Church in Salley, S.C., a small town about 50 miles east of Augusta. He had been in Six Flags earlier in the day, but he and another boy left the park property to get some lunch, according to Cobb County police spokesman Sgt. Dana Pierce.

    Rather than returning to the park through the regular entrance, the pair took a shortcut, Pierce said.

    "The area's clearly defined with signs," Pierce said. "It's very tragic that these individuals would decide to jump over the fence. It would be hard to imagine somebody not seeing the signs and jumping two fences."

    No one on the ride was injured, Six Flags said in the statement. Ferguson's family was at the park at the time of the accident, according to the amusement park.

    Pierce said there were many witnesses, and the county's 911 center was almost immediately flooded with calls from people reporting what they had seen.

    The park's statement said one of the first to call for help was an Marietta police officer who had been in line for the Batman ride.

    "Six Flags security and safety personnel responded immediately, and Cobb County Fire [Department] was on site just minutes after the incident occurred," Sheth said. "The medical examiner arrived on scene and confirmed that the 17-year-old male was killed instantaneously."

    "Our thoughts and prayers are with the family," she said.

    The Batman ride was run briefly after the accident so police investigators could take measurements. It was closed to the public Saturday evening. The rest of Six Flags remained open. The park said the ride likely will resume operating on Monday.

    Batman riders dangle beneath a track and travel up to 50 m.p.h., climbing and dropping the distance equal to an 11-story building and going through two vertical loops and two single corkscrews.

    The first fatality involving the Batman ride in Georgia occurred six years ago.

    A 58-year-old park worker, Samuel Milton Guyton of Atlanta, was killed May 26, 2002. Guyton was in a restricted area on a platform when he was kicked in the head by 14-year-old girl on the front car of the ride. The girl was hospitalized with a leg injury.

    Over the years, several ride-related deaths have been reported at Six Flags parks nationwide.

    Last March, a worker dismantling a ride at Six Flags Great America near Chicago fell 40-feet to his death. In 2004 at the same park, a maintenance worker was hit by a roller coaster and killed.

    A 55-year-old disabled man was killed in May 2004 when he was thrown from a ride at Six Flags New England near Springfield, Mass. Five years ago, a grandmother strapping her 4-year-old grandson into Six Flags New Orleans' Joker's Jukebox ride was hit by a spinning car when the ride began operating before she was out of the way.

    -- Staff writer S.A. Reid and news researcher Joni Zeccola contributed to this story.

    Here's a pic of him when he still had a head.
  2. I heard he was trying to get his hat.
  3. pallister

    pallister Guest

    That is seriously awful you typed that, and I hate myself for laughing at it.
  4. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    Poin's sensitivity is overwhelming.
  5. D-Backs Hack

    D-Backs Hack Guest

    Well, he could have posted an "after" picture.
  6. Hammer Pants

    Hammer Pants Active Member

    I almost posted this story yesterday, but it made me kind of sick.

    I have no idea what the hell that kid was thinking, but he obviously didn't deserve to die. And all those witnesses? Yuck.
  7. WS

    WS Member

    I've heard he was trying to get his hat, and heard that he was trying to touch legs of riders.
  8. CitizenTino

    CitizenTino Active Member

    Can you imagine being one of the people on the ride when that happened? Holy shit.
  9. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    And now he's got no need for one. Ironic, no?

    I swear, the average person's IQ drops 50 points when they step through the gates of an amusement park. I worked at a Six Flags for three summers, including one on a coaster. The setup wasn't very well designed, and it was like watching lab rats run through a maze at times.
    At the entrance to the platform, there was a staircase that led up to the entrance. And the first row was right at the top of the staircase. So you'd end up with 50 people waiting in line for the front row -- and a line all the way through the queue -- creating a bottleneck on the stairs and nobody in line for the other seats.
    And when you got off, you could exit to the right and find the exit ramp. Or left, and a potentially fatal experience. Going left led to a staircase that took you under the platform. No big deal, except there was also a gate that led to the area under the track. It's a miracle we didn't have anyone killed down there.
    One stupid bastard tried, though.
    The train, when it came into the station, unloaded in one spot and then was advanced to another area about 30 feet forward. Which meant that, if you had a train loading and a train on the track, there was no train in the back and a 6-8 foot wide hole in the platform. And, of course, a 20-foot drop to the ground if you misstep.
    So this one guy gets off the ride and exits left. No big deal, except we moved the train up before we caught him. So, instead of waiting for the next train to come in and stepping through it to safety, this dumb motherfucker sees his friends heading down the ramp and does a standing broadjump across the track. I tried to grab his arm but he was too quick. After he somehow makes it to the other side, he shoots me an ugly look and says to his friends, "Dude tried to grab me!"
    Yeah, asshole, because I didn't want to see you splattered under my ride. You know how much paperwork is involved with that?
    I think it's been said that 99 percent of all amusment park injuries are the guest's fault. I firmly stand by that statistic.
  10. PCLoadLetter

    PCLoadLetter Well-Known Member

    No need for a hat now.

    Back when I was in college I worked summers at Disneyland on the Matterhorn. There is a safety system on the ride that automatically deploys the brakes if two of the sleds get too close together. It doesn't happen very often, and it's usually because there are too many fat people in one sled and it gets going too fast downhill. When the brakes deploy the workers run along the track to find the problem. They know the general area because the system will tell them the section of track where the problem occurred.

    I worked with a guy who was once sent out to run the track and found the problem -- two legs sticking out from under a sled. Someone stood up on the ride just as it took a dip and was tossed into a rock wall, then onto the tracks; the next sled got wedged on her.

    He was in therapy for a while after that.
  11. Pete Incaviglia

    Pete Incaviglia Active Member

    Ditto. I laughed and then tried to stop but couldn't.
  12. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    "Cop's gotta hat; I need a hat."
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