Theme Park of the Day: Knott's Berry Farm

Pony Express coaster trains collide at Knott's Halloween Haunt

October 7, 2010, 9:15 PM · I'm tracking down tips that a roller coaster collision at Knott's Berry Farm this evening has injured several visitors to the park's annual Halloween Haunt event.

I'm hearing that coaster units on the Pony Express ride collided, hurting about 10 people, with some on their way to the local hospital.

Now hearing that many of the injuries are minor. Here's the accident report page on the incident.

If you were there, please post what you saw to the comments.

The Pony Express is a Zamperla launch roller coaster, where 16 visitors per train ride on individual "horses" which rotate forward so that riders are on the course head-first, instead of upright or leaning back as they would be on most coasters.

The odd position might make it difficult for riders to brace themselves in a collision. I'm hearing that the launch failed on the ride, causing one train unit to roll back into the station, colliding with a second.

Again, why some coasters don't have anti-rollback mechanisms to keep a train from coming back into an occupied zone is beyond me. Yes, this is a simple coaster, but any coaster with multiple trains on the track at once should have a zone protection system in place, IMHO.

Anyway, we'll await additional details as readers report them.

Replies (4)

October 8, 2010 at 4:18 AM · Not much news, but this is on the LA Times site.
October 8, 2010 at 2:29 PM · It seems to me that the track on this ride is long enough to have put in the anti rollback equipment. Its a no brainer. Any ride with multiple cars and a launching mechanism that may fail should use it.
October 9, 2010 at 5:32 AM · Looking at a POV view video from youtube, unless my eyes deceive me, those brakes on the launch track kind of look like friction brakes. Most launch coasters made by Intamin and even ones by Premier have magnetic brakes that are fail-safe. This particular coaster is made by Zamperla.

Judging by the reviews of the coaster on this site and others, it appears that the coaster already isn't the most comfortable on one's...uh...nether region. I can only imagine what a 25 mph collision with another train might feel like.

October 10, 2010 at 6:31 PM · Here is a video report found on comcast

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