As one of the world's largest collections of theme parks with millions of visitors each season, Six Flags has had its share of unfortunate accidents over the years. While some of these accidents have resulted in deaths, visitors to the park would do well to remember that these incidents occur rarely. Sometimes the park is at fault, but sometimes a guest makes an unfortunate choice that leads to an accident. Being aware of accidents that have happened in the past just might help you remain safer when you visit one of these parks.
Safety at Six Flags Amusement Parks
The Six Flags Corporation owns and operates more than 20 different locations, including amusement parks and water parks. With this many parks and hundreds of rides and other attractions, there's always a chance that an accident could occur, and even the best safety precautions and emergency procedures are not always foolproof. The following list contains reports about a number of documented accidents at Six Flags over the years.
List of Recent Accidents
Various accidents as far back as 2003 include:
- September 30, 2012: A 19-year-old man somehow survived when he fell 75 feet from the Venom Drop water slide at Six Flags in Los Angeles, California. He was immediately rushed to the hospital, where it was determined he suffered no injuries. The park authorities insisted the guard had not authorized him to go down, and that the man went down head first against park rules.
- July 06, 2012: A 67-year-old employee of the La Ronde Six Flags in Canada inexplicably walked into a restricted area of the Vampire roller coaster and was struck. He died almost immediately. One other person was injured, but survived.
- June 28. 2008: A teenage boy was decapitated at Six Flags in Georgia when he jumped over the railing of the Batman roller coaster to retrieve his hat. The ride was operating at full speed (50 mph) when it struck him.
- August 3, 2007: A 6-year-old girl fell from a spinning Octopus ride and sustained minor injuries at Six Flags America in Maryland. Witnesses and park employees claim the girl stood up while the ride was in motion.
- June 21, 2007: At Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom, a 13-year-old girl's feet were severed above the ankle while riding Superman: Tower of Power. Witnesses say a steel cable snapped and wrapped around her feet. Similar rides at all Six Flags and Cedar Fair parks were closed for inspection.
- March 12, 2006: The Texas Tornado swing ride at Six Flags Over Texas malfunctioned, and both the ride operator and the ride's automatic safety systems engaged the emergency stop. Eight riders suffered minor injuries.
- May 1, 2004: A 55-year-old man was killed when he fell from the Superman roller coaster at Six Flags Over New England. Investigators determined that due to the man's large girth, he was not properly secured by the ride's restraint system. The coaster was subsequently outfitted with redesigned safety restraints. Similar coasters at other parks also incorporated the new safety restraints.
- October 19, 2003: Seven people at Six Flags Astroworld in Houston were treated and released from a local hospital after a wooden board fell into the middle of a Texas Cyclone coaster train while the ride was running.
- July 10, 2003: A 53-year-old woman was struck and killed by the Joker's Jukebox ride at Six Flags Over New Orleans. Witnesses reported that she had been checking the seatbelt of a young child, presumably her grandson, when the accident occurred.
- May 3, 2003: An 11-year-old girl died after riding the Raging Bull roller coaster at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Illinois. A coroner concluded her death was most likely caused by choking on a piece of gum during the ride.
Minimize Your Risk for Accidents
While it may seem as though there have been a lot of severe accidents at Six Flags' numerous parks, it is clear from the investigations that the parks were only responsible for some of these incidents. Other accidents were caused by the victims' own actions. If park guests follow each park's rules, learn a few roller coaster safety tips, as well as take other common sense precautions, many accidents can be avoided.