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Robert Niles
Editor

Son of Beast coaster accident sends dozens to hospitals

Published: July 9, 2006 at 9:14 PM

An accident at the Son of Beast roller coaster at Kings Island late Sunday afternoon sent abnout two dozen people to Cincinnati-area hospitals. Local authorities said most of the injured were treated and released for minor neck and chest injuries, but that at least one person was admitted for more extensive treatment.

The incident happened at the end of the train's run, when it stopped abruptly in the station, according to several witness reports.

Update: It was a busted timber. The Cincinnati Enquirer is quoting a state ride inspector saying that one of the ride's wooden support beams is "cracked and had actually splintered in places." The ride is closed indefinitely.

A broken main support beam on a roller coaster is like a broken leg on a racehorse. Sure, you could spend many millions to repair it. But in most cases, you just put 'er down. Given this ride's awful reputation for roughness, one wonders if new owners Cedar Fair will be willing to undertake the expense of rebuilding the ride... or will cut the loss and find a replacement instead.

Replies (11)

Gareth H

Published: July 10, 2006 at 5:56 AM

Gotta wonder how long it will be before an incident happens like this on Revenge of the Mummy.

That has some very abrupt stops, and they differ each time!

Mark Cameron

Published: July 10, 2006 at 6:28 AM

I rode the Son of Beast the day before on July 8th 2006. It was its usual self, a good extreme wood rollercoaster ride with a few hard shakes. It isn't much different then the Mean Streak at Cedar Point. But there are two things they could change to make the ride more manageable to ride. 1). Fix the three or four spots where it bobs up and down about 6 inches as it approaches an incline, 2). and smooth out the brakes before it pulls into the station. It can stop extremely hard on this platform and evidently gripped to hard on Sunday injuring 26 riders. I noticed the Vortex was stopping hard too Saturday and refused to ride it. A few inexpensive adjustments, and track fixes to some great rides would make all the difference in the world to the riders. PKI has adjusted the Flight of Fear by removing the shoulder bars, and it rides much better now. The Beast is a bit rough too (but that is the fun of it), it seemed to stop in the station a bit smoother.

-Mark in Columbus

Derek Potter

Published: July 10, 2006 at 7:33 AM

After talking with some locals, it seems the train did stop abruptly towards the end of the run. The reason for the malfunction is still in the air. Ops had to stop another train on the lift. The train appears to be the culprit in this one, although the track is rough in a few places. The injuries were minor....whiplash and such are the only things reported so far. Tough break for those on the ride, I'm glad nothing serious happened.

Son of Beast is one ride at Kings Island that needs a long hard look. They've tracked the ride twice in 5 years, and although it rode pretty well earlier this summer when I was there, it still is uncomfortable in many parts of the train. Quite simply it needs new trains. This ride will require a lot of attention in the future, and you don't see a lot of people in line for it. It's also sitting on a nice fat piece of land. Not that I'm suggesting it (yet)....but now that Cedar Fair has the wheel, I'd rather have Millennium Force at Kings Island than Son of Beast.

Michelle Zwick

Published: July 10, 2006 at 10:49 AM

I agree with a lot of Derek's comments. I visit the park around twice a month and although I love rollercoasters, I won't touch Son of Beast. Even my 8 year-old son feels bad after riding it. Thrill rides should be thrilling and fun, but NOT feel like you have been in a car accident. I really think that PKI needs to take a long, hard look at how they can improve the safety of this ride.
miller jimmy

Published: July 10, 2006 at 2:08 PM

I rode this ride the day before and while riding it seemed to be alot bumper and shaky then usual. I felt discomfort in my ribs during and after the ride and they are still sore.
Barbi Bruton

Published: July 10, 2006 at 2:30 PM

I was on the Son of Beast on 7-2-06. When my son & I got off we were both hurting. My neck was hurting so bad that I ended up not getting to ride other rides, got sick on my stomach, and spent most of my day at the park sitting on a bench. I love rollercoasters, but this was by far the jerkest ride I have ever rode. A week later and I am still hurting. I think it would be an AWESOME ride if they could figure out how to keep it from hurting your neck!
Dan Tverdokhlebov

Published: July 10, 2006 at 3:50 PM

There is only 1 problem with Son of Beast, and that's the PREMIER trains! If the ride had Millennium Flyer or Intamin Woodie trains, the coaster would be a lot better. Premier should go out of coaster business!
Randy Scott

Published: July 11, 2006 at 3:36 PM

It sounds like we need a "fastpass" for all the ambulance chasing lawers getting in line for this one. If you ever rode the Son of Beast or thought about riding it you probably have suffered a "severe" neck injury, kind of like whiplash. Can anyone say Class Action Cashcow? I thought you could.

I went to parks website and read about the ride and watched the video. I now have a twinge in my neck and suffered enough trauma that I may never be able to work again. I keep thinking about all those poor people who rode the ride in the preious days and weeks before the accident. Oh the humanity!

If you are a lawyer call me at........

P.S. If you are a lawyer, I rode the Revenge of the Mummy at US Orlando last October. Very rough, very, very rough. I not sure if I will recover. I've also rode Mission Space at least 10 times. What would that be worth after you get your 50%? Just curious. I also got scared on the Haunted Mansion ride at MK. The Tower of Terror at MGM doesn't agree with me either. Call me....

lisa hamilton

Published: July 11, 2006 at 9:24 PM

how do i report the accident and to whom
Megan Fultz

Published: July 11, 2006 at 10:47 PM

SOB is an extreme coaster. I have been on SOB and my son and husband have been on it as well. We love it because it is rough, like a wooden coaster should be. When the ride re-opens we will ride it again! I feel for the two people still in the hospital and those who suffered, but I hope it doesn't turn into a "cashcow" for evil injury lawyers. Isn't there an implied risk you assume by entering any theme park and riding any ride that an injury may occur?
Derek Potter

Published: July 12, 2006 at 9:29 AM

PKI has released information on the accident, mostly due to a number of different inaccurate accounts given by media outlets. It seems that a vertical support on the last helix cracked sometime before the accident, causing the train to jerk rather harshly on the track. The ride will remain closed until park officials are satisfied that the ride is once again safe. You can find the interview over at pkicentral.com

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