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  1. #1

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    Sad Boy Dies On Playland Water Ride

    I haven't seen this anywhere here, so I thought I'd post this. This certainly hasn't been a good year for theme parks, and this definately won't make it any better.


    Boy Dies On Playland Water Ride

    (Rye, N.Y.-AP, August 3, 2005) — A boy died Wednesday on a ride at the Playland amusement park in Westchester, the county executive's office said.

    The death occurred in late afternoon on Ye Old Mill, a boat-in-the-water amusement that is tamer than many of the historic park's rides. Donna Greene, a spokeswoman for County Executive Andrew Spano, said the boy was found in the water. The cause of death was not immediately known. Spano planned a news conference at the park Wednesday night.
    In May 2004, a 7-year-old girl was killed on Playland's Mind Scrambler ride, which was spinning riders around in a darkened tent to flashing lights and loud music. Investigators concluded that Stephanie Dieudonne, of New Rochelle, wriggled free of the restraining bar on one of the Mind Scrambler's cars, knelt on the seat and fell soon after the ride started.
    A 7-year-old boy was found dead in the water of a boat ride at an historic amusement park Wednesday after he didn't emerge from a tunnel, authorities said.

    The boy apparently climbed out the boat and got caught in the conveyor belt of the Ye Old Mill, a boat-in-the-dark ride, at Playland in Westchester.
    The ride that killed the Norwalk, Conn., boy, whose name was not released, is "one of our most benign," County Executive Andrew Spano said at a news conference.

    The ride consists of 14 boats propelled into a tunnel. The water is 2 1/2 feet deep at its deepest, and instructions tell riders to stay seated and keep their hands inside their boats.

    The boy, who was at the park with his mother, got on the ride by himself after passing the 42-inch height requirement for riding alone and was the only person in his boat, Spano said.

    The ride and nearby attractions were shut down after the child's death. Spano said the state Department of Labor would investigate the death, which was the park's second in 15 months.

    In May 2004, a 7-year-old girl was killed on the park's spinning Mind Scrambler ride. Investigators concluded that the girl wriggled free of a restraining bar, knelt on the ride's seat and fell soon after it started.

    Playland, a National Historic Landmark, opened in 1928. The amusement park scenes in the movie "Big," starring Tom Hanks, were filmed there.

    The park has more than 50 rides, a pool and a beach on Long Island Sound, and receives more than a million visitors a year.
    -Michael
    “You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.” - Walt Disney

  2. #2

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    Re: Boy Dies On Playland Water Ride

    How Terrible.
    Passive-Aggressive Peanut Butter Sandwich. x_x


  3. #3

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    Re: Boy Dies On Playland Water Ride

    Here's an update...
    State investigators found nothing mechanically wrong with the slow-moving amusement park water ride in which a 7-year-old boy was killed, Westchester County officials said Thursday.

    Meanwhile, a coroner declared that the boy's death was caused by blunt head trauma.

    At a boardwalk news conference at the county-owned Playland amusement park, where the boy was mortally injured Wednesday afternoon, parks Commissioner Joseph Stout said the preliminary conclusion of a state Department of Labor team was that there was "no apparent mechanical failure" at Ye Old Mill boat ride.

    The inspectors also concluded that the Norwalk, Conn., boy, whose name was being withheld at his family's request, "was not seated in the boat when he came out of it."

    Playland Director Joseph Montalto said riders have occasionally gotten out of the boats during the six-minute ride through a tunnel, usually for "mischief," though there are several signs warning riders to stay in their seats.

    "You find them running around the ride," he said. "Sometimes they want to scare somebody in the boat behind them, sometimes they want to go play with some of the exhibits," most of which are scenes of trolls and gnomes.

    He said he knew of no injuries caused by such behavior before and said 80,000 people a year go through the ride safely.

    The boat ride, which is one of the original attractions at the 77-year-old park, will be closed for at least a week until the Department of Labor's full report is received, Montalto said. He said he didn't know if there was any dip in attendance caused by news of the boy's death.

    Stout, the parks commissioner, said employees were "taking this very much to heart." It was the second death on a park ride in 15 months.

    County police Commissioner Thomas Belfiore said three people who were on the ride at about the same time as the boy had been interviewed but didn't remember seeing him. He asked that anyone who was on the ride at about 4 p.m. Wednesday come forward to be interviewed.

    Though each boat can hold several passengers, the boy was riding by himself, having passed the 42-inch height requirement. The boy's mother waited through two circuits of the ride for him to come out, then notified the operators that he was missing, Belfiore said.

    The ride operators, then a park ranger and then police officers searched for him before finding his body under a conveyor belt that loads the boats into the ride, he said.

    Montalto said two state inspectors searched, operated and rode in Ye Old Mill on Thursday, interviewed the operators and reviewed the ride's manual.

    The boy's autopsy was performed in Connecticut because he was pronounced dead at Greenwich Hospital. A spokesman at the state medical examiner's office said the death was caused by blunt head trauma and was accidental.

    In May 2004, a 7-year-old girl was killed on the park's spinning Mind Scrambler ride. Investigators concluded that the girl wriggled free of a restraining bar, knelt on the ride's seat and fell soon after it started.

    Playland, a National Historic Landmark, opened in 1928. The amusement park scenes in the Tom Hanks movie "Big" were filmed there.

    The park has more than 50 rides, a pool and a beach on Long Island Sound and receives more than a million visitors a year.
    “You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.” - Walt Disney

  4. #4

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    Update

    This is from WABC...

    "Age is not always a good indicator, and size is not always a good indicator," Mr. Spano said in a phone interview. "We're looking at better signage and discussion with the parent" before a child gets on a ride. The county said it would post signs in front of the ride on which the boy was killed as well as three other dark, enclosed rides at the park, warning parents that the rides may be too frightening for some children.

    On Wednesday, the boy, Jon-Kely Cassara, died after he was pinned beneath an underwater conveyor belt just inside a tunnel on the slow-moving 76-year-old boat ride called Ye Old Mill. He was several inches taller than the 42-inch height requirement for the ride, whose wooden boats float through a sinuous 1,200-foot tunnel.

    The boy's family declined to talk to reporters, and a police car was stationed at the foot of their long driveway on a quiet street.

    The father, Robert Cassara, is a pastor at a church in nearby Darien, Conn. Fliers taped to the doors of the church, New Life Christian Fellowship, said: "No prayer tonight. We appreciate your continual prayer and strong faith."

    Witnesses said the boy's mother, Elayne Cassara, began to plead for help after the wooden boat her son was riding twice emerged from the tunnel without her son. The police recovered the body some time later, after the water was drained from the ride.

    Officials are not sure how the boy, who was riding alone, ended up in the water. But he may have become frightened after entering the dark tunnel and tried to climb out. The boats are spread out in the tunnel, and so far no one has reported seeing him, the police said.

    The death was the second in 15 months at the popular park on Long Island Sound. In May 2004, another 7-year-old, Stephanie Dieudonné of New Rochelle, N.Y., was killed after she squeezed out of the metal restraint on a thrill ride, called the Mind Scrambler, to wave to a friend moments before the ride began.

    The Mind Scrambler is one of the 4 rides in the park that are enclosed and dark; there are 53 rides in all. While an investigation concluded that safety procedures were followed on the Mind Scrambler, the county later installed seat belts in addition to the metal restraints.

    Ye Old Mill does not have seat belts; experts say water rides typically lack them because the rider might become trapped should the boat tip over.

    Critics of the county, like a lawyer for the Dieudonné family, have said the rides are inappropriate because neither the ride operator nor a child's parent can tell if a passenger is struggling.

    But Mr. Spano said he did not plan to close any of the rides permanently. His office calculated that about six million people have ridden on Ye Old Mill since the ride began, without previous reports of accidents over the decades.

    "This is a tragic accident, but it doesn't reflect on the ride," he said. "Probably half of Westchester rode on this with their girlfriends."

    Still, he said that the county would initiate a review of all safety procedures in the park. Last year, after the death of the girl, the county commissioned a consulting firm to do a similar review, and many, mostly small, recommendations were made.

    Determining a child's readiness for a ride is always a problem, Mr. Spano said. "That's parental judgment as to maturity," he said, adding that it might be difficult for a young operator to challenge a parent's assessment.

    At a news conference immediately after the death on Wednesday, Mr. Spano, who loves Playland and attended the park as a boy, appeared shaken, his voice cracking at times. He said yesterday that he has a grandchild who is about the same age as the victim.

    When Mr. Spano arrived at the park, he quickly rescinded an order that the park be closed, and in he also allowed the weekly fireworks display to go off as planned. "We had this investigative site thoroughly isolated, and people were having a good time," he said. "We didn't want to exaggerate the situation. It's one of the safest parks in the United States, and I think we would have been making the wrong statement by closing it."
    “You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.” - Walt Disney

  5. #5

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    Re: Boy Dies On Playland Water Ride

    That's just so sad.



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  6. #6

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    Re: Boy Dies On Playland Water Ride

    Here's an update from WABC....
    Quote Originally Posted by 7online
    Family To Sue Rye Playland For Boy's Death


    (White Plains, N.Y. -AP, Sept. 14, 2005) - A Connecticut family has hired an attorney and is expected to announce a lawsuit against Rye Playland in connection with the death of their seven-year-old boy.

    The family of Jon Kely Cassara says the lawsuit will charged the park and Westchester County with negligence, carelessness and wrongful death.

    The family has hired Manhattan attorney, Marvin Salenger, who specializes in personal injury lawsuits.

    The family says it intends to donate any money that it might get to establishing homes and schools for deprived and abused children.

    Jon Kely died of blunt trauma to the head on August Third, after becoming trapped by a conveyor belt under 30 inches of water in the Ye Old Mill, an indoor tunnel-of-love-style ride at the amusement park. The family statement asserts that the ride should have had seat belts, better supervision and that the boy should not have been allowed to ride alone.

    Investigators concluded the child was not seated properly at the time of the accident but the exact reason that he left the boat remains a mystery, since there were no witnesses or recording devices.

    County spokeswoman Susan Tolchin said state officials conducted a thorough investigation and concluded there was no negligence on the county's part. She says the ride has been in existence for over 75 years and over six million people have been on it without an accident.
    “You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.” - Walt Disney

  7. #7

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    Re: Boy Dies On Playland Water Ride

    Ahaha... I love it that the parents say that the child should not have ridden alone. Well, hindsight is always 20/20, isn't it, retards?! :P

    Sure, the ride could probably use belts. Yes, the rules allowed a child of his size to ride alone.

    But seriously. Who lets their seven year old get on something by themselves when they don't have full eye contact the entire time? :P
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