Summertime is surely the time for vacations and get-togethers of all sizes and types. And, amusement parks are a common destination for many, especially when they are well-known within a particular region. The trend in amusement facility options varies in certain parts of the nation, but in areas where hot weather abounds water parks have probably become the most popular. While the water is often the main attraction at the parks, many of the visitors are thrill-seekers as well. And very often where there is a thrill to be had, there is often also an element of danger and the distinct possibility of an amusement park accident.
A tragedy just like this occurred recently in Kansas at the Schlitterbahn Water Park in Kansas City when the son of a state lawmaker died in an horrific accident on the park’s biggest water slide when apparently one of the harnesses holding raft riders in place unfastened near the top of the slide. The 12-year old boy suffered a fatal injury to the neck, while two other passengers sustained significant injuries. One of the secondarily injured rafters stated following the accident that their velcro straps on their harnesses also became loosened during the descent to the bottom of the slide, but they managed to hold on to the retainer until coming to a stop.
Media reports also indicated that the park was very busy that day, which is common for a weekend day in the middle of August, especially when it is a special event. The park was hosting a special family day for state lawmakers and many of the Kansas legislature were present when the injury occurred. In addition, there had apparently been some confusion at the top of the slide as passengers were loading into the rafts. There was also apparently only one park attendant operating the ride, which could result in unsafe conditions when patrons are anxious to enjoy the thrill of going down the water slide.
When multiple individuals are enjoying a particular feature of a park it is easy to assume that the ride is actually maintained with safety being the first priority, but the truth is that an amusement park accident is more common than many people realize. While major incidents do receive extensive media coverage, there are still many episodes where people are injured in variety of ways resulting from negligence on some level by the operational staff. Anyone who is injured in an amusement park accident should always understand that there are legal avenues of recovery when any accident occurs.
It is always a good decision to consult with an experienced amusement park accident attorney anytime you have been injured at an amusement facility. Owners and operators of all amusement parks owe a reasonable duty of care for their patrons and many times there is significant insurance coverage available for those who are injured even slightly. Never assume that a minor injury cannot manifest again later in life, especially when it involves a back or head injury. Always call an attorney in every situation. It could be a valuable decision.