Cedar Point Roller Coaster Accident Injures Woman, Shocks Onlookers

A woman was injured at the Cedar Point theme park in Sandusky, Ohio after a part fell from the Top Thrill Dragster roller coaster Sunday. The piece "looked like a metal disc flying through the air," one eyewitness told Cleveland.com. The injured woman's condition is unknown as of Monday afternoon. She was waiting in line for the roller coaster, one of the most popular attractions at the park, at the time of the accident.

The part hit the woman in the head, eyewitness John McDermott told Cleveland.com. He was at the park that day with his girlfriend and son when he saw the accident. He was standing about 15 to 20 feet from the injured woman. "I saw the thing hit the crowd, the lady fell, I heard it bounce off the concrete," McDermott said. "It was something metal. It wasn't a small object. It was pretty big – bigger than the palm of my hand. It looked like a metal disc flying through the air."

The object that hit the woman came off one of the coaster cars, just as it slowed down near the end of the ride, McDermott said. A Cedar Point spokesman also confirmed the metal object came loose from the train at the end of the ride. After the woman fell, other witnesses called for doctors and nurses. Some guests took off their shirts to help stop the bleeding until EMS arrived, McDermott said.

"At approximately 4:30 (p.m.), a small metal object became disengaged from a train on the Top Thrill Dragster roller coaster as it was ending its run," Cedar Point spokesman Tony Clark told the Sandusky Register late Sunday. "The object came into contact with a female guest waiting in line for the ride. The park's EMS team and Sandusky Fire Department responded immediately, and the guest was transported to the hospital for medical care. At this time, our focus is on the guest and her family." The woman was taken to a nearby hospital and was later transferred to another one for further treatment.

After EMS arrived, the crowd was told to leave the scene, McDermott said. "I feel bad for the little kids who were standing in line," he told Cleveland.com. "At least I know a little more about stuff. Someone only 13 seeing something like that."

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An Ohio Department of Agriculture inspector arrived at Cedar Point on Sunday and more inspectors were sent there on Monday for a new inspection of the ride and to begin investigating the accident. The ride passed a previous inspection on May 14, agency spokeswoman Katie Boyer told Cleveland.com. The next inspection was scheduled for September. Top Thrill Dragster is required to be inspected twice a year, following a new law written after a death at the Ohio State Fair in 2017. Top Thrill Dragster has been a popular coaster at Cedar Point since it opened in 2003 and reaches a top speed of 120 mph.