On Friday, word was finally leaked that Kings Island Amusement Park will be removing the “Son of Beast” roller coaster ride due to ongoing injuries and problems the ride has produced. Over 7 million riders have occupied the coaster in its nine years of operation.
In 2000, the $10 million dollar ride opened to thrill seekers as a sequel to “The Beast”, one of the park’s greatest attractions. When it originally opened, the coaster had record-breaking statistics being the tallest and fastest wooden coaster at 218 feet traveling 78 miles per hour. The coaster in length was 7,032 feet long and featured a 118-foot loop leaving riders coming back for more. However, the ride also had its problems from the very beginning in the design phase.
The park had fired the engineer of the ride before it was completed, and had to make several adjustments to the coaster during construction before it opened to the public. The design team continued to make more design modifications the first year it was open and have experienced numerous rider injury problems.
The popular wooden roller coaster has not been in operation in three years after it was closed in 2009 when a woman was supposedly injured on the ride. Parks spokesman Don Helbig said the ride is to be removed for future expansion of the park.
Helbig also commented the park’s representatives have “thoroughly explored all options and variable for the ride and determined this to be the best course of action.” (Dayton Daily News)
In total, riders have been hurt in six different incidences on the famous coaster.
Many Ohioans recall an accident in 2006 when 27 occupants were injured on the “Son of Beast” after a wooden beam cracked from the weight of the roller coaster riders. In result, one woman sued the park for hip and back injuries caused by the ride. The woman received an undisclosed amount in damages. In court, an engineer claimed the park’s owners were “negligent” and “put passengers at risk” for not fixing the ride in the proper format.
The park’s engineers removed the loop of the ride in 2007 and reopened the coaster to the public. However, it wasn’t more than two years before the ride was closed for good on June 16, 2009 after a Mason woman was injured.
The victim claimed the coaster prompted a blood vessel located in her brain to burst; however officials did not find a design flaw that caused the said injury.
Helbig claimed the ride will be taken down later this summer, but a set date has not been determined. The spokesman also said it is uncertain what will be placed in the ride’s spot.