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  #1  
Old January 24th, 2006, 01:31 PM
Greg Pogue Greg Pogue is offline
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Default Accidents

I mostly did sort of wussy-type jobs up at Front Gate when I worked at SFOT in the early 80's. But I want to see if anyone remembers the following incident: There was a girl who was reassigned to Front Gate for a while after she allegedly was injured sitting on 'lift' at Mine Train. As the story goes, she nodded off in between trains and was leaning back in the chair. When the next train engaged the lift, as usual, the whole structure sort of lurched, and she reflexively stuck her leg out to get her balance. Her foot was caught up between the big chain and the giant sprocket that drove the chain, and she had to sort of maneuver around until her foot went all the way around and was released at the bottom of the sprocket. I remember her showing up one day at Front Gate wearing a nametag that said 'S. Cadet'. I think her name was Sandy, but I don't remember much else. I don't remember her limping or complaining of an injury. (Micro-Urban Legend or Truth?)

Yeah, yeah, I know that some of the off season maintenance activities were inherently dangerous. There's a lot of stuff on this site about lifting and maneuvering cars, trains, and boats into the various rides, but I'm not interested in that. I'm interested in similar stories involving rides and kooky mistakes or lapses in judgement. (I'm sure that enough time has passed since the 80's that statutes of limitations prevent any litigation here!)
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  #2  
Old January 24th, 2006, 01:56 PM
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Shockwave...around 1979-80, a female employee fell out of the Shockwave train after the loops on a checkride. As far as i know she was not belted in, and may have been standing up. Anyway she fell out and a cable support broke her fall. The cable caught up under her arm and almost severed it. However that cable probably saved her life.

Others here may remember more details. If Mike Dimetruck would get off his ass and join the forums, we'd know more.

-Alan ("the radical" as Mike called me)
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  #3  
Old January 24th, 2006, 04:33 PM
JStroop JStroop is offline
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She was playing a game that the crew played, it was called either front to back or back to front... the object was, when the park wasn't open, to get in either the back or the front, and after the train was dispatched, they would climb from one end of the train to the other before the train crested the hill leading to the loops, then presumably, the idea was to get into a seat and put your lap bar down.

I believe that it's pretty unlikely, probably impossible, for someone to fall out while going through the loops, with centripetal/centrifugal forces pushing you into the seat... unless you weren't IN a seat, in which case the forces would just push you outward... more likely (in my estimation) was that she got lifted out when the train crested a hill after the loops.


I never heard about that specific mine train accident, but later on, they built cages around those chains and cogs - to prevent random accidental events like that.
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Jeremy Stroop: Rides 88-96, Shows Fright Fests 89,90,91, Safety 97,99. Security 97-98. Hurst, TX
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  #4  
Old January 24th, 2006, 04:52 PM
Krista 96-02 Krista 96-02 is offline
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The version of the Shockwave accident I heard was similar to Jeremy's, but a little more specific in details: it was back to front, to be seated before the train crested the lift and for whatever reason she didn't. Made it thru the loops, up the safety brake and she finally got ejected going down the drop coming back toward the station after the brake. Caught a ground wire, broke her collarbone and jaw. Year was 1982. That's my version anyway.

We had a young lady in 97 at lift on Mine Train that bent down to pick something off the "floor" and she braced herself by placing her hand on the track as a train approached. I only heard about this through the grapevine and I don't know the extent of her injuries; I think she bent down to pick up her purse as her hourly replacement had arrived .....but I do know that within days, the setup of Lift 1 where the operator sits got extended out further away from the track, to where it is now because of it.

Such a calm ride to have so many mods done to it because of mishaps, both in the past and recent present.

Last edited by Krista 96-02; January 24th, 2006 at 04:55 PM.
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  #5  
Old January 24th, 2006, 07:18 PM
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Alan Cochrum Alan Cochrum is offline
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Post Semi-eyewitness to history: 1980

The Shock Wave accident happened on the last day of August 1980, which was a Sunday. I had just recently become night foreman at GT Cars. I got to the park about noon that day; while I was changing into uniform in Wardrobe, a guy asked me if I'd heard what had happened: A girl had fallen off the Shock Wave.

From a Sept. 1 entry in a journal I was keeping at the time:

"Now for the bad news: Yesterday a girl fell out of the Shock Wave while the crew was test-riding it and, as might be expected, got hurt quite badly. Fortunately, she hit a support cable; it tore up her arm, but it probably also saved her life. As it was, she broke her left arm, some ribs, both jaws and suffered various bruises. She was riding without her lap-bar down; it's hardly a wonder that she flew out. Anyway, I found out about it at the foreman's meeting, and we got a strong lecture about following safety regulations."

I can't vouch for the complete accuracy of the injury descriptions, but on the other hand, I don't have any real reason to question them. As far as I know, what I wrote down was what we were told at the meeting.

I can also tell you that the tension level in Ride Operations went WAY up that fall. According to my journal, about 15 Shock Wave and Judge Roy Scream crew members were canned a few days later.
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  #6  
Old January 25th, 2006, 01:27 AM
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Jason Garrett Jason Garrett is offline
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I origanally stuck this in ride operations-

http://www.sfot.net/sfot-forums/showthread.php?t=189
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  #7  
Old January 26th, 2006, 10:37 AM
Greg Pogue Greg Pogue is offline
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Default Electrifying

When I was there a maintenance guy named 'Cletis' went around wearing dark sunglasses for several weeks. The story was that he stuck a screwdriver into a 'live' electrical box and created a very bright arc that burned his retinae. Early in the spring of my second season we were sitting in the ticket booths, bored, because it was a chilly, slow day. We had the old ticket dispensers like they used to have at movie theaters. You would push a button with number 1,2,3, or 4 on it and the correct number of tickets would be dispensed. There were exposed electrical contacts inside, and you could get the motor to run if you connected two of them with coin, causing a stream of tickets to shoot out of the slot at the top. One day I connected the wrong two contacts and caused a shower of sparks, a little smoke, and a tripped circuit breaker. Security and several blue-tags were dispatched to investigate, but the two girls in the booth with me kept their mouths shut about the whole thing.

I showed you mine. So step up and gimme those stories about crazy, stupid things you or others did when you worked at the 'park'.
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  #8  
Old January 26th, 2006, 12:56 PM
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Jason Garrett Jason Garrett is offline
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If I remember correctly during the construction of Batman, the animation foreman shot himself in the knee with a nail gun. He was talking and not paying attention. He rested it on his knee saftey end down.
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  #9  
Old January 27th, 2006, 10:20 AM
James Medford James Medford is offline
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Default Shock Wave 1980

Alan Cochrum has the story right. I was foreman at Railroad that August, and was doing the morning walk around the tracks with Jene Hudson about a half-hour before the park opened. When we got near Shock Wave, we saw several supervisors standing near someone lying on the ground. We stopped and looked for a minute, until John Shults waved his arms at us to indicate that we should move along. I do remember the next foreman's meeting being very somber and tense.
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  #10  
Old February 28th, 2006, 11:40 PM
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PocketWatch PocketWatch is offline
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Default Mine Train Mishaps

There were 3 mishaps at Mine Train during my days there ( 1976-77ish ) During that time, "we" managed to smash 2 trains together in the tunnel (unoccupied trains, thank you) during a cold weather startup. I say "we" because I was on vacation that week. Seems the mechanics were anxious to push the trains through and over-road the limits to "speed things along". Cold weather causes oil in wheels to run like mollases and the first train not to quite clear the tunnel and roll back into the darkness. This made the second train chasing it generally a bad idea. Kaboom! They took the remaining cars and parts from train 1 and from train 3 and for a while, we had train 13. (poetic, don't you think? )

Then there was the day that we obliterated the wood column between the main track and the transfer track in the transfer house. A driver, who will remain nameless, dispatched a train ( with the over-ride key ) while we had the transfer house halfway across. That train skidded onto the platform missing me by about 2 feet. I was busy dodging splinters from the wood column that was SHATTERED by the train. I would pay big bucks to have a picture of the mechanic's face when he saw that train coming around the curve. His face is what cued me to turn around and get out of the way. I'll never forget it.

The third event was the "almost dead guy" event that qualifies for this post. One of the mechanics was oiling brake number 1 out by the mouth of the tunnel. He was looking at us ( in the driver's box ) and pointing with his finger to operate the brake. ( all of this was taking place between trains ) He changed the oil quickly and was waving at us with the usual "push the button" gesture. We were waving wildly with our arms at him to get out of the way because the train was coming. He started to look back down at the brake just about the time the train came blasting up out of the tunnel and the front right corner of the speeding train caught him in the side of the temple. He was knocked out cold and folded like a wet noodle and fell down into the muck and reeds below the track. To this day, I can not believe that he didn't get tangled up in the train and dragged into the station.
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