Amusement park accident: from lazy river to tunnel of terror

Posted on behalf of Stewart Bell, PLLC on Aug 11, 2012 in Personal Injury


Water park rides seem like great summer fun for families, but they also have the potential to be downright dangerous. These rides can cause serious accidents or even death to their riders. However, riders are often willing to take the risk involved so they can enjoy amusement parks. The liability for owners of amusement parks is quite substantial, given the unpredictability of many of the rides.

Five people enjoying a popular water ride at an amusement park outside of West Virginia were injured in a recent accident when their tubes crashed and then became stuck at the entrance to a tunnel. Even though their injuries were not serious, the riders all were extremely scared. They were taken to an area hospital and treated for cuts and bruises.

Amusement park staff showed due diligence by promptly notifying the state Division of Consumer Affairs. State officials shut down the water ride until it can be inspected and any follow-up measures taken. Staff noted that this is the first time there has been an accident like this on this particular water ride, which has been in operation for over 30 years, but under different ownership since 1997.

Central to this incident is the fact that the previous owners of the amusement park filed for bankruptcy. A $3.8 million portion of their debt was for settlements in personal injury lawsuit s. One of these awards was to a woman who was electrocuted on a kayak ride, due to faulty wiring. Another award was to four people who were tobogganing after hours on a ski slope.

Although parents can try to keep their children safe by following rules at amusement parks for height limits and use of approved safety devices on rides, park owners have a responsibility to make sure their rides are safe. If they are not, the owners may subject themselves to liability lawsuits.

Source:, "Update: 5 injured in ride accident at Mountain Creek amusement park," Abbott Koloff and Jeff Green, July 25, 2012

Our firm handles similar situations to the one discussed in this post. If you would like to learn more about our practice, please visit our West Virginia personal injury page.

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Stewart Bell, PLLC

30 Capitol St
Charleston, WV 25301

Phone: 1 304-345-1700

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