SANDUSKY, Ohio (WJW) – A woman is being treated for severe head injuries after she was struck by a piece of metal that broke off of a popular ride at Cedar Point Sunday afternoon.
According to Cedar Point, a metal object broke off of a passenger train on the Top Thrill Dragster as it was ending a run and struck the victim in the head.
A witness called 911 and told the dispatcher, “You need to send someone to Cedar Point. There’s someone who’s in bad shape… Something flew off of a ride and hit them and they’re bleeding from the head.”
Cedar Point issued a statement that reads in part, “The park’s EMS team and Sandusky Fire Dept. responded immediately, and the guest was transported to the hospital for medical care. At this time, our focus is on the guest and her family.”
On Monday afternoon, a FOX 8 viewer captured video of inspectors with the Ohio Department of Agriculture inspecting the ride.
The Department of Agriculture issued the following statement:
“The Ohio Department of Agriculture takes very seriously the safety of all amusement rides that operate in the state. An ODA inspector was onsite at Cedar Point immediately after notification of the accident Sunday afternoon involving the Top Thrill Dragster. Two inspectors, ODA’s Chief of Amusement Ride Safety and enforcement agents are at Cedar Point today, performing an inspection of the ride and investigation of the accident. The last inspection of the Top Thrill Dragster was completed on May 14, 2021 by four ODA inspectors. Due to the changes in ride inspections implemented through Tyler’s Law, this ride is required to be inspected twice a year, with a minimum of two inspectors performing each inspection. The previous requirement was one inspection a year. The second inspection for the Top Thrill Dragster for this year was planned for September.”
Joe Graham of North Olmsted took his family to Cedar Point on Sunday and his 11-year-old son Nolan was waiting in line for the Top Thrill Dragster when the accident happened.
“And we turn around and all we hear is, ‘Stop the ride, stop the ride. Someone got hurt.’ We turn around and we see this lady on the floor injured,” said Nolan Haggerty. “I was like ‘Why aren’t they stopping the ride? Some lady is hurt, she needs help.’”
Medical professionals visiting the park rushed to treat the critically injured woman until paramedics arrived.
The woman was taken to Firelands Hospital in Sandusky and then transferred to a trauma center.
“The injuries were beyond bad, they were not good at all,” said Haggerty.
Graham added, “My reaction was, how did this happen?”
The Graham family is among visitors to Cedar Point who were surprised that the entire park was not shut down so that each ride could be carefully inspected.
“I also understand too that this was a freak accident, but you know, parts are falling off. My whole thing was if it happened on one ride, why didn’t they shut down the others to make sure that everything was working properly there?” said Graham.
Sunday’s accident was not the first major incident involving the Top Thrill Dragster. For example, in 2004, four people were injured when they were struck by debris that sheared off the ride’s launch cable.
The injuries suffered by the woman on Sunday have families like the Grahams questioning the reliability of some of the rides at Cedar Point.
“I don’t want to go back for a while because I don’t know if it’s going to happen ever again,” said Haggerty.
The name of the victim and her current condition has not been released.