Jun 28, 2008 7:30 pm US/Central Boy Decapitated By Roller Coaster At Theme Park
AUSTELL, Ga. Six Flags officials in Georgia say a teenager was struck and killed by a roller coaster after entering a restricted area at the amusement park outside Atlanta.
Six Flags spokeswoman Hela Sheth said in a news release that the unidentified 17-year-old was struck and killed by the Batman roller coaster at about 2 p.m. Saturday.
Sheth says the teenager scaled two six-foot fences to enter the ride area.
She says there are signs warning the restricted area is dangerous.
Authorities were investigating reports from witnesses who said the teenager jumped the fences to retrieve a hat he lost while riding the Batman roller coaster, said Cobb County police Sgt. Dana Pierce. Three security guards were keeping visitors away from the ride on Saturday.
Police said the ride was going full-speed when the teen was struck. The ride's top speed is 50 mph, according to the Six Flags Web site.
No one riding on the roller coaster was injured, Sheth said. The teen's friend also entered the restricted area but was not injured, Pierce said.
The teen and his parents were at the park with a group from the Oakey Spring Baptist Church near Springfield, S.C., police said.
In June 2007, a teenager's legs were severed when cables snapped on the Superman Tower of Power ride at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom in Louisville, Ky. Doctors were able to reattach Kaitlyn Lasitter's right foot, but she had to have some of her left leg amputated and subsequent surgeries.
State officials blame a faulty cable and slow response by an amusement park ride operator in the accident. Her family is suing Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom, claiming the park failed to maintain the ride and equipment and ensure riders' safety. The amusement park has denied liability in court filings.
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