Cedar Point is the roller coast capital of the world. Unfortunately, this fact ended the life of 45 year old James A. Young. Young was a fifth grade teacher from East Canton, Ohio.
Taking a trip to the Cedar Point Amusement Park was a yearly tradition for Young. Every year, before school started again, he would make the trip to Cedar Point to ride the roller coasters. It it located just two hours from his home.
According to his mother Brenda Young, Cedar Point was one of Young’s favourite summer holiday destinations, and possibly one of his favourite places in the world. He would spend a day there every summer with his friends.
This year, Young would have begun his “dream job” at his local school as a guidance counselor. Unfortunately, while looking for his cellphone in a restricted area, he was struck and killed by a roller coaster.
The offending ride was The Raptor. It opened in 1994, and at the time was the longest, tallest inverted roller coaster in the entire world. It races along its course at nearly 92 kilometers per hour. The Raptor has a 3,790 foot long course and reaches a height of 137 feet. Riders are put through six unique inversions while riding The Raptor.
The Raptor, while not being Cedar Point’s most famous ride, is certainly one of it’s more intense. It is important to note that Young’s death was unrelated to the design, functionality and safety of The Raptor. None of these have been called into question following the incident.
According to Young’s mother, during the ride his phone and wallet fell out of his pocket. Hardly surprising considering the 137 foot drop at the beginning of the ride. Young’s mother goes on to say that in a “thoughtless moment” he made an attempt to retrieve them, from a restricted area after he disembarked the ride. Cedar Point confirms his mother’s account of the events.
In a tweet by Cedar Point the park states: “At 5pm, a guest entered a restricted fenced area of Raptor and was struck by the ride. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.” At the time of this article’s writing this was the last tweet on the Cedar Point twitter page.
Twitter users from around the world quickly pointed out that in this tweet Cedar Point failed to mention that the “guest” was killed after being struck.
Following the incident, the park remained open, but naturally The Raptor was shut down. You can watch the Raptor’s Point of View Camera here.