Teen injured on Busch Gardens' Alpengeist
We're getting word of a 17-year-old breaking his leg on Alpengeist
at Busch Gardens Europe
in Williamsburg, Virginia.
According to initial reports from James City County fire officials, the boy fractured his femur in two places while riding, at about 5:20 p.m. Now, here's where the story gets unusual. Park officials said that the victim suffered from a pre-existing medical condition that affected his legs. So, as a result, the teen was airlifted from BGE's parking lot to a Children's Hospital in Norfolk, which, apparently, is the only hospital in the area with experience treating this condition. (FWIW, I'm still awaiting word on what the condition is.)
Alpengeist is B&M inverted coaster, where riders' legs dangle freely during the ride. How that combined with whatever this condition turns out to be to result in multiple leg fractures, I suppose we'll have to await an explanation.
This is a surreal story. Alpengeist is an inverted coaster where your feet dangle, but do people have any idea just what it takes to fracture a femur? The force of Alpengeist is nowhere near that powerful. There is a preexisting condition of some sort here.
It really seems like there are all of a sudden a lot of "pre-existing conditions." Thats the new buzzword of the theme park industry. I wonder if the family knew about the PEC..
This came from the WTKR website:
It will be interesting to find out what the "pre-exisitng condition" is. It could be anything from brittle bone disease to fibrous dysplasia. The fact that he was lifted to Children's Hospital makes me believe it is something unusual.
Erik, you dislocated your knee on Dragons ? During the ride or the walk ? If the ride, at what point ? The peak of one of the inversions ?
You almost have to start to wonder why all of a sudden, anytime someone gets injured at a theme park, they had a 'pre-existing' factor. I can understand heart conditions because the people that have been getting injured are in the age group where they aren't getting tested for heart problems. For all we know, hiw pre-existing condition could've been the fact that he had broken his femur before and the doctor's didn't set it right.
Well I have a condition where my knees will dislocate themselves at random. I could be sitting in a seat talking to someone, shift in my seat the wrong way & my knee (either one) will slip outta place--PAINFUL! I rode Alpingeist with no problem but whenever I ride an inverted coaster, I keep my legs tucked under the bottom in case something like that happens but if this boy knew he had a rare condition or any condition, he shudda known better not to ride or thought to keep his legs tucked under the bottom. I guess he didn't think of that. I ALWAYS hafta be careful no matter what I do.
Daniel, I was on Ice, and it happened during the near miss inversion with Fire, the second one where Ice is below Fire. It kind of just popped out and twisted. It took a minute to get me off the ride and I was escorted to First Aid (a little room off the side) where I popped it back into place with much cursing and yelling. Poor ride ops, the last thing I'm sure they wanted to see is a fatman cussing.
Its bad the kid got hurt, but if his pre-existing condition was so bad it could cause a serious injury he shouldnt have ridden the ride in the first place.
This reminds me of shark summer a couple years ago. There were no more shark attacks that year than any other one, but media attention blew it out of proportion. The vast majority of ride incidents this are because of preexisting conditions. Always have been, always will be. If millions can ride it every year with no ill effects, than it really can't be said that the ride is a hazard to the public. The Son of Beast incident was a structural thing, but thats pretty much the only instance this year. By the way, Kings Island now has to rebuild part of the ride under state supervision for that one.
Sounds like Brittle Bone Syndrome.
I agree. This is starting to feel ALOT like shark summer. It got so bad that year that if someone just thought they saw a shark it made national news. I think the media is starting to create a circus by reporting anything that happens on a roller coaster. What we are finding out is that most of what happens on coasters is safe unless someone has an issue. Maybe we really should take those disclaimers seriously.
My husband has osteogenisimperfecta (brittle bone disease). He was born with it and spent most of his childhood in one cast or another. He can just be walking across the room and break a foot bone. He loves to ride coaters and we always know something could happen, it doesn't stop him and we ahve been very lucky. He hasn't injured anything on a ride. Maybe this boy has something like that, if so I feel bad for him.
I am sorry that the teen was injured, but people have got to start paying attention to the signs in front of these rides. From my understanding, the teen did have a pre-existing condition and though he may have wanted to ride, he should not have. Only the people getting on these rides truly know their own conditions and weaknesses. It comes down to taking responsibilty for your actions. Just this past weekend I was going to ride corkscrew hill, there was an elderly lady walking through the cave to ride it, I was behind her. This lady was not walking alone, she required assistance of two other women on each side to help her walk, just looking at her screamed fragile. They finally stopped to let me pass and I did comment to them "you are aware this is a fairly rough ride?", they said "yes". Needless to say, they turned back and did not ride. My point, they knew the ride was rough and were going to ignore obvious physical limitations. The park can't play police, they can only post the warnings, otherwise they would be accused of discrimination.
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