THE world’s second tallest rollercoaster has been closed forever after a woman waiting in line was hit on the head by a metal bracket.
Cedar Point amusement park in Ohio announced on Tuesday it would be permanently closing the Top Thrill Dragster.
The decision comes a year after the metal flew off the 420-foot tall coaster in Sandusky and seriously injured Rachel Hawes.
The 45-year-old, of Swartz Creek, Michigan, was left with serious brain injuries after being hit while waiting to board the ride.
Her family said in a statement at the time: “We want to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers during this time.
“Rachel is fighting for her life, and we would ask for privacy in this difficult time.” Her current condition is unknown.
A state investigation found no evidence that the park acted illegally or had reason to believe the ride was unsafe.
But the ride has remained closed since the August 15, 2021 accident.
Park officials did not say if the accident influenced their decision to permanently close the coaster, which has operated for 19 years and drawn 18 million riders.
In a statement announcing the closure, the park noted it “legacy of ride innovation continues”.
They added: “Our team is hard at work, creating a new and reimagined ride experience.”
It said more details about its plans would be disclosed in the future.
Tony Clark, the director of communications at Cedar Point, tweeted: “After 19 seasons in operation with 18 million riders experiencing the world’s first strata coaster, Top Thrill Dragster, as you know it, is being retired.”
A description of the ride reads: “Riders are launched in the blink of an eye before sprinting straight up at a 90-degree incline.
“We aren’t kidding when we say that this high-octane sprint to the checkered flag knows a thing or twenty about horsepower.”
It had been the tallest in the world until 2003 when it was replaced by Kingda Ka roller coaster at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson Township, New Jersey.
That is now considered the world’s tallest with a 456-foot elevation.
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