Tragic Six Flags Accident Deemed "Preventable"

11/17/2008

According to today's Courier-Journal, the tragic accident the severed Kaitlyn Lasitter's legs last summer was preventable. The article specifically references the recently released report conducted by the Commonwealth of Kentucky's Agricultural Department (which is responsible for inspecting rides) indicates that the two main factors in the accident were 1) cable wear and 2) operator failing to use the emergency stop button soon enough.
The department's spokesperson indicates that there is no way to know how long the cable had been under stress, but did say, "Early on, the deterioration is slow, but as (the cable) gets closer to failure, it gets a whole lot worse," he said. "It was obvious that whatever had been happening (on the broken cable) had been happening for a while."
The report was also critical of Kentucky Kingdom (a.k.a Six Flags) for failing to follow the manufacture's instructions for inspecting the cable.
New legislation in Kentucky passed this year changes the minimum age for a ride operator to 18 and mandates the amusement park provide updated manuals to the state to ensure compliance.
Hans