Six Flags Darien Lake (SFDL) Discussion Thread

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Re: Darien Lake Discussion Thread

Postby ABW » Sun Jul 10, 2011 1:34 am

braztaz wrote:The first video made me so glad that the family was understanding, and it actually gave me chills.

The second video....WOW. Mood ruined. Stupid, typical teenage girls. Makes me so mad.

Exactly this. But I'm glad the actual family are the understanding ones. They do have a point and it really does give you chills. But then, you get to the stupid, uneducated, and overly dramatic teenage girls and well, the story just goes downhill from there. If you ask me, the typical American teenager is enough for me to worry enough about this country alone.

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Re: Darien Lake Discussion Thread

Postby viking86 » Sun Jul 10, 2011 3:45 am

ABW wrote:
braztaz wrote:The first video made me so glad that the family was understanding, and it actually gave me chills.

The second video....WOW. Mood ruined. Stupid, typical teenage girls. Makes me so mad.

Exactly this. But I'm glad the actual family are the understanding ones. They do have a point and it really does give you chills. But then, you get to the stupid, uneducated, and overly dramatic teenage girls and well, the story just goes downhill from there. If you ask me, the typical American teenager is enough for me to worry enough about this country alone.

I wouldnt blame the girls too much. They are young, have just witnessed or been near a fatal accident and suddenly they have a camera right in front of their face. I think the media are the stupid ones for actually publishing this. This does not just happen with young american girls, it happens all over the world. Kids, teens, adults.... people who have just been involved in a traumatic incident gets a camera showed up in their face, they end up saying something stupid and the media doesnt think twice about publishing it.

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Re: Darien Lake Discussion Thread

Postby andrewatdc » Sun Jul 10, 2011 4:29 am


I'm a newbie to this forum, but this is an interesting story to me. I'm a former Disneyland (CA) ride-op, a lawyer, and presently a business owner in retail.

As a lawyer, there is a doctrine called comparative negligence, which would seem to be the ultimate question here. It seems likely that both the park and the guest were negligent. The guest, especially in light of his condition, should have reviewed the signs and safety information (assuming they were readily available/accessible to him). A reasonable guest in his condition, after reading the signs, should not have attempted to ride. At the same time, however, the park staff also should have been aware of the safety limitations (assuming that this was a known issue) and should have prevented the guest from riding.

The question for a jury is who is more negligent and by how much.

As a business owner and former DL cast-member, my opinion is that it is mostly on the park. First, parks are in the guest services business. That means the park and its entire culture is around understanding and serving the guest. And anyone who has worked in a park (and certainly the management) understands that, for the most part, guests check their brains at the door. At DL we called it the "sheep effect". We used to put a cast-member in front of attractions just to tell people, "there are 2 lines" because the guests see the one long line and just get in it like sheep.

Of course, checking your brain is pretty much the whole point of these parks. The guest is there to let go, in a fun, relaxed. and safe vacation environment. They are not thinking. It is the park's job to think. The park is there to take care of their guests in every way. And above all else, this means keeping the guests safe. The park is in a better position than the guests to know what is and what is not safe. They have the ability to train their staff on safety and enforce the safety rules.

Moreover, from a business standpoint, there is a fantastic economic incentive to avoid incidents like this. The cost of a highly trained, safety-aware staff is very small compared to the loss of business this kind of publicity causes, not to mention the legal costs associated with a death. $2.0 million goes a long way to safety training -- and I'll bet they are going to lose more than that on this nightmare.

Was the guest negligent as well? My opinion is yes. But I think that juries and most people agree that while everybody "should" read the signs, most people don't. And I also think that most people will agree that it is reasonable for a guest to at least ask if it is safe to ride. Certainly, in the case of a severely disabled amputee, if the ride ops were aware of his condition (and it appears that they were), then it seems pretty reasonable to assume if the ride ops let you ride then the ride is safe. After all, it is likely fairly easy to find evidence that the park trains the ops that is their primary job function -- above all other considerations -- to operate the ride safely. And most people know this.

So I do think the guest has some element of negligence. He should have read the signs. He should have obeyed them. He should have specifically asked a lead operator if the ride was safe for him. But I think that the guest's negligence pales in comparison to the park's. The ride operators primary function is to assure the safety of the guests. Period. The park should have drilled this into the ride ops' heads. The front of the park should have a manager on duty to meet with severely disabled guests and brief them on what they can and can't do safely (maybe they did, but haven't read that). The ride ops should be intimately aware of the safety limitations of the ride and should be trained to enforce those limitations without exception, 100% of the time. The park has every incentive to get safety right every day. Idiot guests? Not so much. We know this. So will any jury.

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Re: Darien Lake Discussion Thread

Postby DougMJr » Sun Jul 10, 2011 6:02 am

By now, the story is hitting more major news networks. I'll provide links to the full stories but here are some excerpts with interesting details.

It was the only ride the two boarded during a weekend family getaway at the park, 1½ hours from Hackemer's home in Gowanda.

Hackemer had asked the park's staff which rides would be safe for him, Luffred recalled.

"They're all fine," a guest-services worker said.

"I'm going to put my hands up when we go down!" he excitedly told his nephew.

But once it was rolling, Luffred said, he realized the belt and lap bar in the coaster might not hold his uncle, who had no lap.

Read more:

Full Story From New York Post

"They were descending from one of the hills when he became dislodged from the roller coaster and fell to the ground," Walker said.

Hackemer, who had been fitted with prosthetic legs, was not wearing them on the ride, according to senior dispatcher James Tripp of the Sheriff's Office.

Full Story from CNN

The biggest thing this brings to light is that Guest Services gave him the OK to go on all the rides by telling him that "they're all safe" for him to ride. I'm not sure what Darien Lake's policy is for disabled persons, but if they get a wristband or something and he was cleared for everything then perhaps the ride attendants were just following orders.

Again, I'm not sure how much of this is 100% true, and we will not know until the official report, but interesting none the less.

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Re: Darien Lake Discussion Thread

Postby DarienLaker » Sun Jul 10, 2011 6:34 am

I went to Darien Lake Yesterday and I have some great photos to show of it!

Ride Rundown

'Cuda Falls (2 blue and green slides)
Tornado (1)
Swirl City (1 CannonBowl Run)
Viper (1)
Ranger (1)
Sleighride (1)
Mind Eraser (1)
Giant Wheel (1)
Boomerang (1 my first Boomerang!)
The Predator (1)
Haymaker (1)
Silver Bullet (1)
Scrambler (1)
Motocoaster (1)
Lasso (1)
Raging Seas (1)

Now for the photos

Barracuda Bay bridge sign (Medium).JPG
They moved the Barracuda Bay sign to the bridge

Barrels of Fun (Medium).JPG
The kiddie Barrels of Fun wheel

Boomerang on Fun Lake (Medium).JPG
Vekoma Bommerang on the lake

Boomerang sign (Medium).JPG
The sign for Boomerang and it's not for the "Lily-Livered"

Censored Bat Signal (Medium).JPG
A blacked out Batman logo from the former Nightmare at Phantom Cave building

Critter Chase (Medium).JPG
Critter Chase ride

Dipsy Diver (Medium).JPG
Crazy Yellow Submarine

'Cuda Falls and Floodgate Falls (Medium).JPG
'Cuda Falls from the Gaint Wheel

Darien Sqaure sign (Medium).JPG
"Welcome to Darien Square" WTF!

Floodgate Falls (Medium).JPG
Algae infested Lazy River :p

Galaxy Theatre rock entrance (Medium).JPG
More evidence from Nightmare at Phantom Cave

Gold cave rocks in Galaxy Theatre (Medium).JPG
Even more evidence from Nightmare at Phantom Cave!

Haymaker (Medium).JPG
The Haymaker

Heintz Fatze seal on Haymker (Medium).jpg
In case you're wondering who made it? this should be a clue

Lone canoe by Mind Eraser (Medium).JPG
A canoe by the Mind Eraser

Mind Eraser lamp (Medium).JPG
The Mind Eraser advertises itself on the lamps

Mind Eraser sign (Medium).JPG
Mind Eraser's sign

Ranger (Medium).JPG
The only Huss Ranger ride operating

Ranger sign (Medium).JPG
The name says it all!

Splashmania pole (Medium).JPG
Abandoned high dive pole

Silver Bullet (Medium).JPG
The Silver Bullet from the Giant Wheel

Superman crystals (Medium).JPG
The former Superman crystals in kiddie land next a ship

Swashbulcker sign (Medium).JPG
In case you're wondering about the name of the ship it's the "Swashbuckler"

Thomas the Tank Engine at Adventure Isle (Medium).JPG
What is Thomas the Tank Engine doing at a former Six Flags park?

Tiny Trio (Medium).JPG
The little kiddie coaster aww

Twisty Tubs (Medium).JPG
What is in those cans besides kids?

UFO and Adventure Isle (Medium).JPG
The Adventure Isle ship and a Huss UFO ride

UFO sign (Medium).JPG
The sign for the UFO

Viper (Medium).JPG
The Black Viper

Weather Balloon (Medium).JPG
And last but not least, the Adventure Isle Balloons
Nobody knows a lot about Darien Lake like me! ;)

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Re: Darien Lake Discussion Thread

Postby chetCO » Sun Jul 10, 2011 7:16 am

ilrider wrote:From a legal standpoint, warning/rules signs really don't mean jack and don't absolve the ride ops/park of liability. Those signs are put up to try to protect the park/Intamin from liability before it happens, but they don't protect the park, really. It's like those Caution: Wet Floor signs in stores. If someone slips and falls right beside the sign, you'd better believe the store is still liable. The rider used poor judgment, but the ride ops should not have let him ride.

While you are correct, the part about the wet floor signs/store is still liable...if we are talking about a retail chain that is union well that makes it much harder to sue even if its totally the fault of the store. For example in Denver there is a supermarket chain that is owned by Kroger called King Soopers. King Soopers is not only local Denver institution since the 1940's but they are also union. I do business in Denver quite often and have heard many of stories from so so many about people getting hurt in their stores who had tried to sue only to find out that few if any local Denver area lawyers would even touch it because they just don't want to deal with the union at King Soopers.

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Re: Darien Lake Discussion Thread

Postby odene497 » Sun Jul 10, 2011 10:54 am

^^I'm glad to see Ranger up and running again, when I was there a few weeks ago it was just a skeleton.

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Re: Darien Lake Discussion Thread

Postby jslim39 » Sun Jul 10, 2011 2:30 pm

Does anybody know when RoS will be up and running again? It seems pretty clear cut that the man was not fit to ride, and that the investigators have concluded this. I hope it is, since I'm visiting Saturday. My thoughts and prayers go out to him though.

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Re: Darien Lake Discussion Thread

Postby FeelTheFORCE » Sun Jul 10, 2011 3:19 pm

^ One of the articles a few pages back said as soon as it's re-inspected and re-certified.

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Re: Darien Lake Discussion Thread

Postby CP_RULES » Sun Jul 10, 2011 3:30 pm

larrygator wrote:
cryptcruiser wrote:The family is taking it way to well. How come, no one has mentioned posible suicide? That type of restaint only holds your waist, if you're top heavy with no legs, to lock you in, I'd say for sure, you have a real good chance of coming out.

I was thinking in a similar fashion.

I was thinking this as well. It seems very possible that after seeing what he saw and going through what he went through that he'd be ready to just end it. Maybe he was suicidal and thought one last day with his family at an amusement park capped off by a literal "ride of his life" would be a nice way to go.
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