A U.S. Army veteran who lost both legs in Iraq and had been trying to rebuild his life was killed after he was thrown from a roller coaster at an upstate New York amusement park. More information can be found on Screamscape. This is just a sad, sad story as well as being one of those that has us all scratching our heads wondering how this even happens. How do you let someone who has no legs on a ride which constrains the riders by the legs? Thoughts and prayer go out to everyone involved.
I think the next major innovation in the amusement park industry needs to be a new restraint system. I envision something which at first is flexible so it can be contorted to fit the shape of any rider and then when they are secured in place the restraint magically hardens to a non-flexible state. Anyone know of such material? Memory shape alloy or something?
And no we don't need federal oversight for amusement park rides, that is what the ASTM F24 committee is for. Federal regulations wouldn't have prevented this accident.