Amusement Park Patron Suffers Permanent Head Injury on Unsafe Ride

Amusement Park Expert WitnessThis case involves a young child who suffered serious injuries while riding on a ride at a small amusement park in New Mexico. The ride’s seats came with shoulder harnesses, however it was apparently common for amusement park staff to allow children to keep the shoulder belts behind them. During the ride, the child was partially ejected from the front seat of the ride, and suffered a very significant head injury upon impact with the ground. The plaintiff alleged the the ride was inherently flawed in its design due to inadequate restraint measures.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Can you discuss your experience with restraint systems on amusement park rides?
  • 2. How do you ensure the safety of the riders?

Expert Witness Response E-007753

I would be happy to look at this unfortunate case. I have extensive experience with automotive vehicle accident reconstruction, the principles of which are directly applicable to roller coaster rides. One must analyze the G-forces involved, the safety restraints in place, and the actual mechanical system used in the design of the ride. There are also concerns around how staff was employing the restraints, which may have compromised their ability to maintain rider safety if used incorrectly.


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