Report: Cedar Point broke no laws in Top Thrill Dragster accident

Top Thrill Dragster ODA Accident Investigation
Published: Feb. 18, 2022 at 5:21 PM EST
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SANDUSKY, Ohio (WTVG) - The Ohio Department of Agriculture ruled that Cedar Point did not break any laws when a metal piece of the Top Thrill Dragster broke off and hit a woman in the head back in August.

According to a report about the investigation into the incident, the Department found “insufficient evidence to find the actions or inactions of Cedar Fair Entertainment Company ... violated any of the laws found in” the Ohio Revised Code. The report outlines that the purpose of the investigation was to determine whether Cedar Point violated state laws regarding the proper operation and safety of amusement park rides and not to determine the cause of the accident.

A summary of the 620-page report provided by the Department of Agriculture states that the investigation found no evidence that the park was aware that the ride was in unsafe condition or that the metal piece -- determined to be a proximity flag plate -- was likely to cause injury to staff or riders. The investigation also found that the ride, including the flag plate, had been inspected the night before the incident and was not found to have sustained any damage.

On August 15th, a 44-year-old woman standing in line for Top Thrill Dragster was struck in the head by the flag plate and was hospitalized with a brain injury. The piece of metal was described as being about the size of an adult male’s hand. An earlier update on the investigation found that about half of the bolts that secured the plate to the structure were missing. The full report states that the bolts, which staff members said were intact the morning of the 15th, failed by “instantaneous overload fracture.”

The ride was closed for the rest of the season.

You can read the full report below. Warning: some viewers may find elements of the report disturbing.

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