I was nearly killed in a roller coaster accident at what is now Six Flags New England.
It used to be Riverside Amusement Park and the cart I was in collided with another cart at the very top of the ride. The roller coaster was the called the Wildcat, and it used to be pretty popular at many amusement parks. It reached speeds of 40 mph and was 50 feet high. Our accident was at or nearly at the highest point. (circled in the picture. This is the same type coaster but not the actual one I was on.)
I was in 7th grade and on a school trip. Me and five friends had been on the Wildcat twelve times already and we were supposed to be heading back to the bus for the ride home. Instead, we decided to go one more time for a "Lucky 13" times.
As we got to the front, they were testing a new cart in front of us with 4 mechanics in it. I recall we said that we would test it. The mechanics got in and away they went. There were six of us and we crowded into one cart. Four of the guys were brothers.
As the chain began to pull us up the first hill, we all saw the test cart in front of go down the first (and biggest) hill and come to a dead stop at the bottom. We all started screaming making an attempt to let everyone know that we were about to die. We were absolutely terrified as we continued to ascend the first hill knowing what was about to happen. The mechanics worked frantically to get the cart moving. Much to our relief, as we neared the top of the ride, the cart down below began to move and quickly climbed the next hill.
Now I always figured those old coasters used the chain to get them to the top of the hill and gravity to do the rest. But whether they had a motor on the cart or what, I don't know but all I knew was that we had averted certain death.
Or so we thought...
As we plummeted down the first hill, we saw the test cart had stopped once again. This time at the very top of the ride on one of those tilted curves right before the second plunge.
This time, the mechanics knew that our cart had gained ground on it and they knew that they had no chance of getting it going. Three out of four of them jumped out of the cart onto a small 18" walkway.
I still remember bracing myself for the impact and seeing the look of horror on the face of the mechanic before he sat down, covered his head and prepared for impact. I bet the look on his face looked brave compared to the look on mine. I damn nearly sh!t my pants. It was absolutely terrifying.
We slammed into the cart... and man did it hurt like a b****!
This was one of the old coasters that holds four adults or six kids. It had seat belts, not harnesses like the coasters of today.
Because we were on a curve, we were already tilted hard to the left. The right side of the cart came off the tracks and we teetered at a point where the cart could have gone either way. The cart paused for what seemed like an eternity but probably was about a millionth of a second. In that split second, I remember being more afraid that I had ever been in my life. Fortunately the cart came back down onto the track instead of tipping the other direction and dropping us to our certain deaths.
All of us were in a lot of pain but none of us appeared seriously injured. One guy had a broken nose that was bleeding pretty bad. They actually let us climb down a metal ladder that was attached to the coaster, which looking back was very stupid. But to top it off, they let us go when we said we were ok. We were all afraid that we were going to be in trouble because we were late getting back to the bus.
We all tried running to the bus but that's when the real pain set in. It was hard to breathe and I felt like I was going to pass out. When we got to the bus, everyone was on it and they were waiting for us. Chaperons that were ticked off at us instantly saw that something was wrong.
Gushing blood usually does that. :eek:
But I think it was when the guy with the broken nose began projectile vomiting that was the clincher. :D
We were taken back in and brought to health services and then onto the hospital in ambulances. The three older kids, all had badly bruised ribs and stomachs. The guy with the broken nose said that happened when his face slammed into the hand rail in front of us.
The younger kids in the back were bruised a little but basically fine.
We spent the night in the emergency room and our parents had to drive an hour and a half to the hospital.
Society wasn't quite as litigious as it is today or we all could have made a fortune. Instead, we did even sue them.
Damn we were stupid bastards! :D
About two years later, I decided that I wanted to go back on the Wildcat to help get past the bad memories. As I stood in line and gave my friend a play by play of what happened, about 12 people in front of us that were listening to me got off the line. :D