Firehawk Reopens At Kings Island After Rider Dies - Cincinnati News Story - WLWT Cincinnati
MASON, Ohio -- A Toledo man is dead after riding the Firehawk roller coaster at the Kings Island theme park.
Public relations manager Don Helbig said that at about 3:30 p.m. Saturday, ride operators noticed that Homer Shields III appeared to be having breathing trouble after the coaster came back into its station.
Homer Shields III
Park medics were called, and Shields was taken to Bethesda North Hospital.
Helbig said he was informed that Shields passed away Saturday evening. He said the park sent its condolences to the victim's family.
The park said it has no reason to believe the man's death was caused by his ride on the Firehawk and that the coaster was operating normally.
Riders who sat next to Shields told News 5's Laura Borchers that something was clearly wrong with the man midway through the ride.
"When we looked, it was awful. His blood was all over his face. His eyes were halfway closed and were rolled back. You could see them a little bit, and we stayed back. We tried to stay as long as we could. We wanted to know what was going on. It freaked us out a little bit," rider Rachael Sims said.
Helbig said the park voluntarily shut down the ride and notified the state of Ohio.
State inspectors said the roller coaster performed normally during a thorough inspection on Sunday. As a result, the ride reopened at noon.
The Firehawk was first opened in February 2007. The park's Web site said the Firehawk travels at 51 mph along 3,340 feet of track and has five inversions. It is the second roller coaster to be closed at the park.
In June, the Son of Beast was shut down after a woman complained it caused a blood vessel to burst in her head. The state found no irregularities after it inspected that roller coaster.