Teen killed at Batman coaster at Six Flags Over Georgia
Story from the Atlanta Journal Constitution
A boy was killed Saturday when he was struck by the popular Batman ride at Six Flags Over Georgia.
Police spokesman Dana Pearce said the victim was not on the ride when he was "struck and killed." Six Flags said in a statement that details of the fatal accident would be released "shortly."
According to Fox 5 TV, a group of boys with a church group visiting the amusement park jumped a fence around an off-limits area. One of them jumped to grab someone's feet as the Batman ride passed over, and he was decapitated.
Update: Six Flags' statement:
A 17-year old park visitor scaled two six-foot fences that secured the Batman roller coaster and was struck and killed by the coaster at approximately 2 p.m. today. We do not know why this person was intent on gaining access to this restricted area, as multiple signs clearly state: Danger Zone/Do Not Enter/Authorized Personnel Only.
Some witnesses have stated that the individual was trying to retrieve something he had lost. Others reported that he was trying to touch the ride. This is merely speculation at this point, and we are working with park visitors and local police to learn more. No guests on the ride were injured. The visitor’s family was at the park with him, and Six Flags representatives are currently with the family. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.
Update 2: This is the second death at the ride involving a victim who was struck and killed while in a restricted area. In 2002, a Six Flags employee was struck and killed.
Update 3: The 17-year-old South Carolinan was sneaking back into the park after leaving for lunch. The first fence he and a friend scaled was the park perimeter fence. The second was the attraction fence.
Update 4: Victim ID'd as Asia LeeShawn Ferguson of Springfield, South Carolina. Ferguson was visiting with a group from Oakey Springs Baptist Church in Springfield.
Wow, that is pretty horrible. You know, they should secure those dangerous areas better. Almost anyone can get over a six foot fence. I know its common knowlege not to go into a resricted area and the park probably doesnt expect anyone to be that stupid and do that, but they still should have at least an eight foot fence around an area as dangerous as that. Then accidents like this can't happen.
Ugh. We'd gone so long since a fatal guest stupidity accident that I'd actually begun to have hope that people were wising up. No, no one deserves to die for something even this stupid, but, really, how much more does a park have to do to protect people from their own negligence? Do we really need IR "fences" and no-gap camera monitoring around the perimeter of every moving ride?
You hit the nail on the head, Robert. Two six foot fences should be plenty as far as "this is not somewhere you're supposed to be" goes. An additional two feet would be an annoyance, not a deterrent. I hope the park doesn't catch hell over this, as there really is no safeguard for human idiocracy.
It is very sad new whenever you hear that someone has died on or because of a ride, but cases like these really do make me think, why would people do something as stupid as this? As the Sixflags statement says, there are plenty of warning signs as well as the fences (which I agree with Robert, are of a suitable height already). I have been to a number of theme parks in the UK and USA and every ride I have been on says that "no loose objects are to be brought on the ride". Even if you ignore this sign, why put your life at risk to gain an object, or even more stupidly, touch a ride. I may seem a little harsh on this but only because these accidents should never happen and it is not the parks fault. However my heart does go out to the family of the teenager as no-one would want to lose someone in such a tragic way.
Utter stupidity. No, you're right, Robert, nobody deserves to die for something like this. Likewise, the company should not be berated for something they controlled fairly well.
this really does not sad me at all. I'm sorry. its like that idiot driving 100+ on the freeway on a motorcycle. does a human life lost make me fell sad, yes. do i feel bad for a individual jumping 2 fences with warnings signs make me feel bad. NO!!!!!!!! even if the fence was 20 feet high, they still would of jump it and gotten killed.
This was something that should NOT have happened.....shear stupidity......
I have mixed feelings about this. Yes, no one deserves to die in a theme park. But at the same time (as insensitive as this may sound), the kid may have just won a Darwin Award.
what a shame...my condolences to the family. Note to all you kiddies...its not worth the braggin rights to say that I "did that" or I "did this". It can end tragically. My thoughts and prayers are with the entire church group too. That totally sucks. If you are not safe at a church outing...where are you safe?
It's a shame that this story gets lumped in with the girl with the severed feet at Six Flags KY Kingdom from last year. Our local news here in Cincinnati, pitched them as similar stories. I think not. The girl from last year was riding Superman in the usual fashion when the "accident" occurred. I quote "accident" because there is question as to whether or not there were problems with maintenance etc (that's all hung up in court).
So many of these dumb accidents happen. People should just pay attention to the "Danger, Keep Out!" signs!
Ugh... The problem is that even people that are around these rides EVERY DAY can get hit. It is very difficult to judge speed and distance when the train is that close, and even more difficult to understand that the trains swing and dip when you least expect it. I personally witnessed a professional photographer get hit by a mine train, because he was standing too close. He watched 5-6 cycles then leaned in to get 'the shot' at the wrong time. The train hit him in the face. The full-time ride supervisor standing next to him was knocked to ground. Both lived, thank goodness.
I'm sorry for the family and church group, but I think that they probably think it was an accident, while everybody else was saying different. But before that, I think that the teen was trying to touch it to tell his friends and brag. I would NEVER do something that stupid, because of the sadness it would bring to my family and others (also the pain of me and others during the incedent).
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