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Isn't this charge a bit extreme?

by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / September 29, 2004 10:53 PM PDT
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Re: Isn't this charge a bit extreme? Possibly not, Dave.
by Paul C / September 29, 2004 11:29 PM PDT

The magic question - Why did the safety strap loosen? - is not addressed in the story. If the deceased did something to loosen the strap, then that's one thing, and the whole prosecution is bogus. But, if the strap loosened by itself, and if it loosened because of gross negligence on the part of the amusement park's personnel, than perhaps the charge is thoroughly justified.

So, I went to the Nashville Tennessean website, and came up with this story:

''This is more than just carelessness or someone not tightening a bolt,'' said R. Price Nimmo, a Nashville attorney representing Alexander's family.

Investigators contend that a safety system had been bypassed that was supposed to prevent the machine from operating unless all of the safety harnesses were secured, Nimmo said...

Nimmo said a similar incident happened on the same ride less than a year earlier, but the man who came out of his safety harness was able to hang on until the ride could be stopped. That incident could not be verified independently last night.

If that's the case, Dave, then I suspect that the charges are more than justified...

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Re: Isn't this charge a bit extreme?
by Dan McC / September 30, 2004 1:23 AM PDT

Unless there's something going on here that hasn't been release it does seem a bit nuts.


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Too many questions methinks (as usual)....
by Mosonnow / September 30, 2004 5:22 AM PDT

I would think (with no better information) that a simple strap mechanism for an upside down ride has to be optimistic. Such "swing boat" rides are normally enclosed in an overall cage (and have been for more years than I can remember). Roller coaster rides normally enclose people by a "bullet proof vest" style rigid metal restraint, as you will know.

It has come to light before that some operators here believe they are OK if acting within the standards as laid down and have used this as a defence, notwithstanding that they must have known that their equipment or their inaction might be considered inadequate. Also that the inspectorate (official checkers) reviewed equipment infrequently (by which certificates can clearly become out of date).

Not knowing the circumstances, I can only suggest that if the proprietor knowingly operated faulty equipment or equipment unsafe in the circumstances and likely to result in an accident or possible death, then a charge of unintentional murder or manslaughter must be inevitable. Whether it will be proved is a different matter, but, heck, this isn't the first accident of its kind, and the first one was one too many.


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