Over the holiday weekend, a guest was thrown from the front of a two-person alpine coaster car. According to the Director of Communications for the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Chris Cannon, the front passenger of a double passenger alpine coaster car was thrown from her slide and suffered fractures to both wrists, a knee cap, head trauma, and possible broken ribs. No additional details are currently available, but it should be noted that the track was thoroughly inspected by a third party ride inspector, and everything was operating correctly and according to code. Generally speaking, alpine coasters are an extremely fun coaster-type attraction that enthusiasts and families alike can enjoy all throughout the year. Certainly, this incident is unfortunate. In Tennessee, incidents like this require additional considerations and possible remedial measures to be taken to avoid future incidents. Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster remains closed while awaiting final word back from Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Surely, the alpine coaster will resume regular operations very soon. Being that I have ridden this fun thrill attraction before, it should be stated that the team at Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster have always put safety first at their attraction and operated a safe ride. With the compliance requirements in the spotlight, it will be interesting to see if the department takes a look at all alpines in the state and requires some additional safety measure implementation.
[Image courtesy of Coaster Addict Michelle.]