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Accident at Cypress Gardens leaves boy hospitalized

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Published: February 26, 2006 at 4:53 PM

From the Theme Park Insider Accident Watch today, an incident at Florida's Cypress Gardens last night:

A 12-15 year old boy fell out of the Triple Hurricane roller coaster when it was going around a turn at around 6 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2006. He fell from a height of about 15 feet. He was airlifted to St. Joseph's Children's Hospital in Tampa, where he was listed in serious condition with multiple injuries. -- Reported on February 26, 2006 by Betty Solbjor.

An investigation is underway. And, as always, the thoughts of the entire roller coaster and theme park fan community are surely with the victim and his family.

Readers' Opinions

From Gabriel Perez on February 26, 2006 at 6:46 PM
Man dat must be horrible but why isn't cypress gardens listed on this website???????????
From Robert Niles on February 26, 2006 at 8:45 PM
It is a relatively low attendance park, with only 1.4 million guests last year. Generally, we list paid-admission U.S. parks once they hit two million annual guests. But if there's a strong core of people willing to enter and update the listings, I'll throw in on.
From Scott Galas on February 27, 2006 at 5:48 AM
On the radio this morning (105.1) they stated that the boy got out of the lap restraint, stood up, turned around, lost his balance and fell. They also said that the boy was dared to do this and the family has requested that no more information be released to the public.
From Deborah Davis on February 27, 2006 at 6:53 AM
Here's a link:

http://www.sptimes.com/2006/02/27/State/Boy_hurt_in_fall_from.shtml

From Anthony Murphy on February 27, 2006 at 9:00 AM
I mean maybe this is a silly guestion, but how was he able to get out of the restraints? He really shouldn't be able to, but I guess there is no way to totally make it totally kidproof. If he wants to get out, he will get out!
From Gareth H on February 27, 2006 at 9:09 AM
If we are all honest we all see if we could get out of the restraints. Who doesn't sit there at the loading station thinking they could get out if they really wanted too. Who pulls the lap bar down fully so it really tight against you? I don't, I prefer a little moving space just in case!!
Example: I was on Spiderman on Friday, the ride broke down and I was able to squirm out of the lap bar so I could look over the side. It didn't take much!
From Mike P2 on February 27, 2006 at 9:23 AM
The state came in and checked the coaster and nothing was wrong with it. The boy was dared to stand up on the ride and when he was seated, he was turned to the side, so he could slip out. When the coaster went around a corner, he was flung from the coaster. He fell on the grass about 10-12 feet below. When the coaster stopped, the lap bar was in place and secure.
From Lynn Reed on February 27, 2006 at 10:44 AM
I have annual passes to Cypress Gardens, and I've ridden the Triple Hurricane about six times so far this year. It's a smaller wooden coaster, kind of mine-train-sized, with out & back hills. the restraint is a metal bar fastened to the front wall of your car that folds down to be straight out from the front wall, parallel with your lap, with some room between the bar and your lap. It is not at all snug, but it would still take some effort to get out of it, and you would have to be at least somewhat slender, I think. I am not at all slender, and would not be able to do it.

On another note, my nine year old son, who is a huge fan of the Triple Hurricane, was very upset that something like that had happened on his favorite ride, and was very disgusted with the teen for standing up. Hopefully, he will keep that thought alive, and never imitate.

From Chris P. on February 27, 2006 at 3:41 PM
If you ask me, this is pure stupidity.

Even for small children it is difficult to get out of a restraint. If the boy was dared, well thats a whole different story.

From Robert Niles on February 27, 2006 at 4:19 PM
As a parent, it is just sad to see how much suffering can result from one act of foolishness, stupidity or ignorance. (Of all we have documented many here at TPI.) I feel terrible for everyone involved.

No one deserves a hospital stay for being stupid. But... that's what you very well might get. So, please, folks, use your brains out there and feel no shame at all for laying into those who do not. Better that than hospital stays.

From rick stevens on March 1, 2006 at 1:25 PM
I agree with Robert. It is a shame to here of people needlessly injured for the sake of a dare. My prayers for the boy and his family. It is lucky that he is still alive, many do not survive that type of accident. We must also remember the other riders in our prayers as they will undoubtedly be traumatized from witnessing this tragedy.

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