Roller Coaster Accident at Salem Fair Injures 6; Rider may be at Fault

07/05/2011 // WPB, FL, USA // Personal Injury Lawyers News // Nicole Howley

Salem, VA — A roller coaster accident at the Salem Fair sent six people to the hospital Sunday night, July 3, 2011. The accident occurred around 11 p.m., on the Rip Tide roller coaster, reported WDBJ7.

According to officials, the accident occurred when a passenger’s hat flew off their head and became wedged in the roller coaster’s braking system, which caused the ride’s second car to hit the first car.

An investigation conducted by the Salem Fair officials revealed that an adult man was asked to remove his hat prior to the ride leaving the loading dock, in which he complied. But, at some point during the ride, the man was photographed with the hat back on his head. The hat flew off his head and became stuck in the wheel of one of the roller coaster cars, which caused the accident.

The roller coaster accident injured six people as a result. They were rushed to area hospitals for treatment of injuries.

The Rider Safety Act, which was passed in Virginia in 2002, required riders to follow written and verbal instructions for every amusement ride or be held responsible.

“If you’re riding the ride and you’re not riding it properly and there’s an incident and you’re hurt, it could make you liable. If other people are hurt are hurt on the ride, it could make you liable for their injuries,” said Salem Fair safety consultant Danny Abner to WDBJ7.

If the man is found at fault for the roller coaster accident, he could be liable for the medical bills of the injured people and for himself. In addition, he could also be held financially responsible for damage to the roller coaster; as well as face criminal charges, possibility even jail time.

Investigations are underway. Fair officials say maintenance issues were not a factor in the roller coaster accident.

Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for Virginia personal injury lawyers.

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