In June of this year, six people were seriously injured when the Sand Blaster roller coaster on the Daytona Beach Boardwalk malfunctioned. News reports at the time explained that the coaster derailed shortly after it had re-opened after being closed for several weeks due to the coaster’s poor condition. A recent news report discusses some of the shocking discoveries investigators have uncovered in the few months since the accident.
On June 14, several cars on the Sand Blaster derailed, sending two women in the front car plummeting over 30 feet to the ground below. The remaining passengers dangled from the track, waiting to be extricated by emergency workers. At the time, little was known about what caused the accident.
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), which is the government agency responsible for regulating roller coasters, inspects roller coasters twice a year. However, operators are responsible for conducting daily inspections before opening the ride to the public.
After the accident, an official investigation was initiated by FDACS. A part of that investigation focused on reviewing the inspection reports generated after the coaster’s daily maintenance inspection. However, when investigators requested the inspection reports for the ten-month period before the accident, the company did not provide them. In a public statement, an FDACS representative told reporters that “there were times … the ride was not operating due to scheduled maintenance and repair.”
In addition, it appears that the inspection forms that were used by the operator were not the correct forms. The operator had been using inspection forms designed for Go-Karts, which contained additional irrelevant fields. More importantly, the Go-Kart forms did not contain several fields that were relevant to roller coasters, including hydraulics, structural integrity, and electrical.
Also concerning is the fact that after reviewing the entire coaster, investigators believe the ride had derailed several times in the past and no one had notified FDACS. Of course, amusement park operators are required to report ride malfunctions to FDACS so that appropriate action can be taken. In addition, this information is important to diagnose a potential problem in the event that a ride experiences the same type of issue time and time again.
The investigation is ongoing. However, it seems that more could have been done to protect riders from the dangers of the Sand Blaster, both by the operator as well as by FDACS.
Have You Been Injured in an Amusement Park Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a South Florida amusement park accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. While amusement parks can be a great way to get away for the day, they can present very serious dangers if not properly maintained. The dedicated South Florida personal injury lawyers at the law firm of Cecere Santana have extensive experience handling all varieties of Florida premises liability claims, including those arising after amusement park accidents. We also represent clients across South Florida in other personal injury and wrongful death cases. To learn more, call 800-753-5529 to schedule your free consultation today.
See Additional Blog Posts:
Government Begins Probe into Missouri Duck Boat Accident that Killed 17 Passengers, South Florida Injury Attorneys Blog, July 27, 2018.
The Dangers of Drowsy Driving in Florida, South Florida Injury Attorneys Blog, published July 20, 2018.