Published: June 22, 2009 at 6:01 PM
It says right in your link Robert. A woman called in and reported that she hit her head while riding. Kings Island in turn contacted state inspectors and they are investigating the ride. It will be closed until they are finished.
My question is this. According to this story, the woman waited two weeks to report the incident. She rode on May 31st, and reported on June 16th. Most people who hit their head on a ride would report such a thing immediately. Don't get me wrong, I hope she is okay and all, but if you bumped your head, something likely would have happened immediately or the next day, be it a concussion or a bruise. Why wait 2 weeks to contact the park?
As for Son Of Beast, it became a much better ride when the trains were replaced and the loop taken out. The ride is still intense, as it was meant to be, but I now have more leg room and can actually enjoy riding instead of fighting to keep my knees from hitting the bar. I used to avoid at all costs, but now I ride every visit.
SOB (as it's affectionately called) however, seems to have been cursed from day 1. In 9 years the ride has been retracked twice, had part of the structure rebuilt, had it's loop removed, has had excessive amounts of maintenance necessary to keep it open, an accident due to cracked supports, and now this report. At one time the park filed suit against the designer and some of the contractors for all the issues they have had. I'm not sure what happened with it.
Personally, I think that the design was flawed from the beginning. The trains were too heavy for the structure, and the structure couldn't handle the weight without excessive strain on the supports. The lighter trains have remedied many of those problems, and also have increased rider comfort. I don't think the ride will be closed for the year. Still though, if Kings Island continues to have problems, perhaps it's time to call in GCI or The Gravity Group and let them build a winner.