Spending an afternoon at an amusement park with your loved ones can be an incredible experience. From riding exhilarating rollercoasters to enjoying creative shows and good food, there’s something to keep just about every amusement park visitor entertained. However, on rare occasions, a joyous occasion can turn tragic when an unexpected accident occurs. Although major amusement parks tend to be safe for both employees and visitors alike, many venues have had their fair share of serious incidents. In this study, we take a closer look at fatal accidents that occurred at Six Flags parks.
How Many People Have Died at Six Flags Theme Parks?
To date, there have been 62 deaths at amusement parks that were or are currently managed by the Six Flags Entertainment Corporation. In some cases, fatal accidents may have occurred while the park in question was under different ownership or management. For example, a fatal accident at Geauga Lake in 1997 pre-dated the park’s integration into the Six Flags franchise. To create the most comprehensive study on amusement park fatalities, such accidents were included in our research.
* Note: the following visual was originally published on April 11th, 2023 and will be updated periodically.
Tracking Fatal Accidents By Individual Six Flags Park
To date, Six Flags Great Adventure has had the most fatalities (13) of all Six Flags amusement and water parks. Only five Six Flags properties have had five or more recorded deaths, and those amusement parks are:
Six Flags Great Adventure
Six Flags Magic Mountain
Six Flags Over Georgia
Six Flags Great America
Six Flags Over Texas
The graph below tracks deaths by Six Flags park. For the sake of brevity, parks with “Hurricane Harbor” in their title have been abbreviated as “HH.”
What is the Deadliest Six Flags Attraction?
The Haunted Castle at Six Flags Great Adventure was responsible for the highest number of fatalities of all the franchise’s attractions. Eight people lost their lives in a single incident involving the Haunted Castle, which is more individual fatalities than occurred at any other single Six Flags park. The attraction was entirely destroyed in a fire on May 11th, 1984. In an aggravated manslaughter lawsuit against the amusement park, it was argued that the decision not to install smoke alarms or a sprinkler system within the attraction may have led to the shocking number of casualties.
Six Flags Victim Demographics
Both park employees and visitors have suffered tragic accidents at Six Flags amusement parks throughout the years. However, we discovered that park visitors are nearly 4x as likely to suffer a fatal accident than an employee or contractor. To date, fourteen Six Flags employees or contractors suffered fatal harm at an amusement or water park, compared to forty-eight visitors.
Have Wrongful Death Lawsuits or Fines Been Brought Against Six Flags?
In many cases, the families of victims who suffered fatal harm at a Six Flags park filed what is known as a “wrongful death lawsuit.” When a person perishes due to the negligent or careless actions of another person or party, a wrongful death lawsuit can hold the responsible party accountable for the preventable accident. The victim’s family members may be able to recover damages for lost income, funeral costs, and the emotional suffering of survivors. Information about known wrongful death lawsuits is included in the description of each individual incident.
Some Six Flags accidents resulted in fines, typically from the U.S.’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). In most cases, accidents that led to a fine involved unsafe workplace conditions that resulted in a park worker suffering fatal injuries. Accidents occurring outside of the United States may have resulted in penalties from foreign agencies with a similar purpose to OSHA. For example, a 2012 incident at the Canadian amusement park La Ronde resulted in a fine from the Commission de la Santé et de la Sécurité du Travail du Québec.
Using data sourced from the Good Jobs First national policy resource center, we created a graph of OSHA fines against Six Flags parks for workplace safety or health violations from the year 2000 to the present day. To date, Six Flags Great America has accrued the most penalty fines, with over $110,000 owed. Overall, Six Flags has been penalized $39,171,088 by OSHA since 2000, but the vast majority of penalties were assessed due to a consumer protection-related offense.
Deaths by Six Flags Park
As of the present day, there are eighteen Six Flags parks where at least one fatality has occurred. Each of the fatal incidents is recorded below, with accidents grouped according to the park they happened in. If you are looking for information on fatal accidents at a specific Six Flags park, click the corresponding link below to immediately be transported to that section of the study:
La Ronde is an amusement park located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It was initially built as an entertainment venue for the 1967 International and Universal Exposition, or Expo 67. The park is currently operated by Six Flags under a lease with the City of Montreal that will remain active until 2065.
As of April 5th, 2023, there have been four reported deaths at La Ronde, three of which occurred in a single accident.
Ride:The Mississippi Date:July 8th, 1979 Cause of Death:Drowning Situation:A sightseeing boat called the Mississippi capsized at Lac des Dauphins, an artificial lake at La Ronde. An estimated fifty-to-sixty tourists, many of whom were poor swimmers, were thrown into the water. Three tourists drowned and an additional ten were taken to a hospital.
Ride:Le Vampire Date:July 6th, 2012 Cause of Death: Head trauma (reportedly) Punitive Actions:Undisclosed fine by Commission de la Santé et de la Sécurité du Travail du Québec (CSST) Situation:A 67-year old plumber was ordered to repair a broken sump pipe in the pit of a ride called Vertigo, which was adjacent to Le Vampire. The plumber entered a restricted section below Le Vampire while the ride was in motion, allegedly in violation of park safety protocols. The man was standing underneath the coaster as it approached and was struck in the back of the head by one of the ride’s chairs at a speed of approximately 50 miles per hour. Another person at the scene was taken to the hospital to be treated for shock after the sudden accident.
Fatal Accidents at Six Flags America
Six Flags America is located in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Initially founded as a wildlife center, the venue officially became the 10th Six Flags park in 1999. “America” was added to the park’s name due to its close proximity to the U.S. capital.
As of April 5th, 2023, there have been four reported deathsat Six Flags America.
Ride:Hurricane Harbor Date:July 13th, 1983 Cause of Death:Drowning Situation:A 9-year-old boy drowned in the wave pool after falling off his life raft. Lifeguards reported that the victim demonstrated seizure-like symptoms, but those allegations were not medically supported.
Ride:Hurricane Harbor Date:August 20th, 1987 Cause of Death:Premature birth Situation:The body of a prematurely born boy was found behind the women’s changing rooms.
Ride:Batwing Date:September 22nd, 2001 Cause of Death:Pre-existing heart condition (tear to victim’s aorta) Situation:After getting off the Batwing coaster, the victim’s pre-existing heart condition worsened and she was taken to Prince George’s Hospital Center for treatment. The victim passed away approximately an hour after getting off the ride.
Ride:Shark Attack Waterslide Date:July 4th, 2005 Cause of Death:Heart attack Situation:A 29-year old woman suffered cardiac arrest on the Shark Attack waterslide. She was found unconscious and floating in shallow water at the base of the ride. Park officials performed CPR and used a defibrillator in an attempt to save the victim, but rescue attempts were unsuccessful.
Fatal Accidents at Six Flags AstroWorld
Six Flags AstroWorld, known popularly as “AstroWorld,” was a seasonal theme park in Houston, Texas. After nearly four decades in operation, the park was permanently closed on October 30th, 2005.
As of April 5th, 2023, there has been one reported deathat Six Flags AstroWorld.
Ride:Excalibur Date:August 9th, 1997 Cause of Death: Blunt force trauma Situation:A 51-year-old maintenance worker suffered fatal injuries when he was hit by the roller coaster’s car. The worker had seen a false “all-clear” signal and was working on a section of the ride’s tracks when the train was sent out for a test run, resulting in the fatal collision.
Fatal Accidents at Six Flags Darien Lake
Six Flags Darien Lake encapsulates a campground, lodging, water park, and theme park across 1,200 acres of land in Corfu, New York. The theme park was officially acquired by Premier Parks in 1995.
As of April 5th, 2023, there have been two reported deathsat Six Flags Darien Lake.
Ride:None (parking lot) Date:September 6th, 2009 Cause of Death:Not determined Situation: Genesee County Sheriff’s Deputies discovered the body of a 33-year-old man in Sunshine Lake, which is located within the boundary of Six Flags Darien Lake. The victim was reported missing the previous day after going to a concert at the Performing Arts Center. Police reported that the death did not seem to be suspicious, but a cause of death was not confirmed.
Ride:Ride of Steel Date:July 8th, 2011 Cause of Death:Fall Lawsuit:Seven-figure wrongful death settlement (confidential) Situation:A double amputee Iraq veteran suffered fatal injuries when he was thrown from the Ride of Steel’s train. The victim fell approximately 150 feet to his death. Investigators determined that operator error led to the man’s death, as rules posted at the ride’s entrance required visitors to have both legs to board the attraction. A wrongful death lawsuit was filed following the fatal accident, ending in a seven-figure confidential settlement.
Fatal Accidents at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom
Six Flags Discovery Kingdom is an animal theme park in Vallejo, California that also includes a number of traditional amusement park roller coasters and rides. The park originally opened in 1968 as Marine World and became a part of the Six Flags chain in 1999.
As of April 5th, 2023, there has been one reported deathat Six Flags Discovery Kingdom. Despite being an animal theme park, there have not yet been any fatal incidents related to captive animals.
Ride:Monkey Business Date:July 21st, 2001 Cause of Death:Brain hemorrhage Situation:After riding on Monkey Business, a spinning teacup-style ride, a 42-year old woman suffered a brain hemorrhage. Despite being alert and talking when she was taken by ambulance to a local hospital, the woman passed away days after leaving the park. Investigators found no fault with the ride but stated that the attraction’s movement likely caused the fatal bleed.
Fatal Accidents at Six Flags Elitch Gardens
Six Flags Elitch Gardens is a former Six Flags amusement park. From 1999 to 2006, the theme park was a component of the Six Flags franchise. Six Flags Elitch Garden was sold to PARC Management in October of 2006.
As of April 5th, 2023, there have been two reported deathsat Six Flags Elitch Garden (one while under management by Premier Parks, pre-Six Flags).
Ride:Sidewinder Date:August 2nd, 1997 Cause of Death:Fall Punitive Actions:Park was fined over $32,000 for OSHA violation Situation:A 45-year-old ride operator at Six Flags Elitch Gardens suffered fatal injuries when she fell off a three-story platform next to the Sidewinder attraction. The amusement park was subsequently fined over $32,000 in OSHA violations for not doing enough to protect workers from unnecessary danger.
Ride:The Rainbow Date:May 26th, 2002 Cause of Death:Fall Situation:A 28-year-old man unlatched his seat belt and got out of his lap bar restraint while on the Six Flags Elitch Gardens ride The Rainbow. Park officials reported that the victim had a “cognitive disability.” According to eyewitnesses, the victim had wanted to get off the ride and may not have understood the dangers of removing the attraction’s restraints. It is uncertain whether the man fell before or after the ride’s operator hit an emergency stop button.
Fatal Accidents at Six Flags Great Adventure
Located in Jackson, New Jersey, Six Flags Great Adventure opened in 1974 and was officially enquired by Six Flags in 1977. In 2012, the amusement park became the second-largest theme park in the world when it was combined with the attractions at Six Flags’ Wild Safari.
As of April 5th, 2023, there have been thirteen reported deathsat Six Flags Great Adventure. To date, this is the Six Flags park with the highest number of reported fatalities.
Ride:Skyride Date:August 16th, 1977 Cause of Death:Crushing Situation:While attempting to repair a mechanism on the Skyride, a mechanic was killed when the defective part suddenly began revolving. The victim lost his footing and was caught in the drive-wheel. Despite surviving the initial incident, the mechanic later succumbed to his injuries.
Ride:Rolling Thunder Date:August 16th, 1981 Cause of Death:Fall Situation:A 20-year-old park employee was on a routine test ride of the Rolling Thunder roller coaster when he fell to his death from the attraction. The ride was found to be performing normally and no safety flaws were discovered upon investigation. Investigators determined that the employee may not have used the ride’s safety bar correctly.
Ride:Rolling Thunder Date:August 29th, 1981 Cause of Death:Choking Situation:A 19-year-old woman was found unresponsive in her seat on Rolling Thunder when the train returned to the station. An autopsy revealed that the cause of death was choking caused by the aspiration of gastric contents. Aspiration of gastric contents occurs when fluids or food go into the lungs or windpipe instead of being swallowed. This was the second fatal accident on Rolling Thunder within a two-week period.
Ride:Haunted Castle Date:May 11th, 1984 Cause of Death:Asphyxiation / smoke inhalation Lawsuit:Sued for aggravated manslaughter, found “not guilty” by jury verdict Situation:The Haunted Castle attraction caught fire when a teenage boy used a cigarette lighter to help him navigate through the maze of dark rooms. The open flame ignited foam rubber padding used to protect visitors from running into walls and the fire rapidly spread, destroying the entire attraction. Eight teenage visitors were unable to escape the burning attraction and succumbed to smoke inhalation.
Ride:Lightnin’ Loops Date:June 17th, 1987 Cause of Death:Fall Punitive Actions:Park fined for violation of the Carnival/Amusement Ride Safety Act Situation:A 19-year-old woman fell to her death from the Lightnin’ Loops ride when the coaster was launched before park operators checked that the passengers were securely restrained. Investigators concluded that the fatal accident would have been avoided if proper procedures had been followed.
Ride:None (Incident occurred on park premises) Date:September 1st, 2017 Cause of Death:Struck by lift truck Situation:A 19-year-old park worker that was stringing lights was fatally struck by a lift truck in the early morning on September 1st, 2017. Despite being rushed to a hospital, the victim succumbed to his injuries.
Fatal Accidents at Six Flags Great America
Initially opened as Marriott’s Great America in 1976, this 304-acre amusement park became part of the Six Flags franchise in 1984. Areas and rides within the park are designed around the concept of places in North America, from the Wild West to New Orleans.
As of April 5th, 2023, there have been five reported deathsat Six Flags Great America.
Ride:Raging Bull Date:May 3rd, 2003 Cause of Death:Cardiomegaly Situation:An 11-year-old girl collapsed after getting off the attraction. Initial incident reports indicated that she had choked on chewing gum while on Raging Bull, but the cause of death was later ruled cardiomegaly. The victim had been seeing a cardiologist for treatment.
Ride:Ragin’ Cajun Date:May 29th, 2004 Cause of Death:Traumatic head injury Situation:A 52-year-old ride mechanic stepped in front of a speeding roller coaster car in an attempt to cross the ride’s tracks. The man was struck in the head and suffered a traumatic head injury. As the victim’s condition worsened, his family had him taken off life support due to his low chance of recovery.
Ride:Sprocket Rockets Date:August 16th, 2006 Cause of Death:Congenital heart anomaly Situation:A 10-year-old girl passed away from a known congenital heart anomaly after getting off the Sprocket Rockets attraction. The victim was running to rejoin her family members when she collapsed. Her heart was stopped by the time paramedics arrived.
Ride:Splashwater Falls Date:March 11th, 2008 Cause of Death:Head & chest trauma (caused by fall) Situation:As Splashwater Falls was being demolished, a 46-year-old worker fell 40 feet to his death. The victim struck parts of the ride on the way down, suffering fatal head and chest trauma.
Ride:Superman: Ultimate Flight Date:September 9th, 2017 Cause of Death:Natural death Situation:A 50-year-old man passed away after getting off the Superman: Ultimate Flight attraction. While on the exit ramp, the victim stated that he felt unwell before collapsing. The victim was rushed to Advocate Condell Medical Center. While at the hospital, the man passed away from what was declared a “natural death.”
Fatal Accidents at Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Chicago
Discussions began about building a water park near Six Flags Great America in 1996. In 2004, plans were officially announced for a Caribbean-themed water park. The 20-acre water park saw 1,300,000 visitors in its first year of operation.
As of April 5th, 2023, there has been one reported deathat Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Chicago.
Ride:Hurricane Bay Date:June 29th, 2005 Cause of Death:Heart attack Situation:Nearly a month after Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Chicago opened in 2005, a 68-year-old man had a heart attack and passed away in the Hurricane Bay wave pool. Lifeguards and first responders were unable to save the victim.
Fatal Accidents at Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Concord
Originally opened in 1995 as Waterworld California, Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Concord is a water park in the Bay Area. The park has twenty-five waterslides and is one of the largest waterparks in Northern California.
As of April 5th, 2023, there has been one reported deathat Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Concord.
Ride:Banzai Pipeline Date:June 2nd, 1997 Cause of Death:Fall Situation:A group of more than thirty Napa High School students tried to form a “train” and set a school record for the highest number of people to go down the Banzai Pipeline slide together. The impacted section of the slide collapsed, resulting in many students falling up to three stories to the ground. Victims struck trees, buttresses, and other sections of the attraction’s piping on the way down. A 17-year-old senior was killed in the collapse and an additional 18 victims were hospitalized.
Fatal Accidents at Six Flags Hurricane Harbor SplashTown
Six Flags Hurricane Harbor SplashTown is a Texas water park. The water park was acquired by Six Flags in May 1999 to prevent competition with the franchise’s Six Flags WaterWorld.
As of April 5th, 2023, there has been one reported deathat Six Flags Hurricane Harbor SplashTown.
Ride:None (incident occurred on park premises) Date:April 12th, 2019 Cause of Death:Fall Situation:A Six Flags worker suffered fatal injuries after falling from an unnamed structure in the afternoon on April 12th, 2019. Investigators ruled the death an accident and a Six Flags statement noted that the worker fell while performing job-related duties.
Fatal Accidents at Six Flags Magic Mountain
Six Flags Magic Mountain, at times referred to simply as “Magic Mountain,” is a 209-acre amusement park near Los Angeles. Becoming a part of the Six Flags brand in 1979, the amusement park has a record-high twenty roller coasters.
As of April 5th, 2023, there have been seven reported deathsat Six Flags Magic Mountain.
Ride:Eagle’s Flight Date:February 5th, 1978 Cause of Death:Fall Situation:A pair of newlyweds were seriously injured when their sky bucket detached from its cable and plummeted fifty feet to the ground. The incident likely occurred because the victims were violently rocking the bucket they were riding in, according to eyewitness testimony. The husband died and the bride suffered catastrophic injuries, including the loss of both legs.
Ride:Colossus Date:December 26th, 1978 Cause of Death:Fall Situation:A 20-year-old woman was thrown from the Colossus roller coaster as it plunged downwards at approximately sixty miles per hour. The woman suffered fatal injuries in the fall. An investigation concluded that the woman was not properly restrained due to her size. Colossus was closed for a year following the incident, with multiple safety adjustments to the ride being made.
Ride:Revolution Date:May 30th, 1996 Cause of Death:Blunt force trauma Situation:A 25-year-old part-time employee stepped onto the tracks of the Revolution roller coaster as the train started up to complete a cycle. The employee lost her footing and fell into a pit below the tracks, where she suffered fatal blunt force injuries. The victim was declared dead at the scene of the accident.
Ride:Goliath Date:June 2nd, 2002 Cause of Death:Brain aneurysm Lawsuit:Wrongful death lawsuit filed Situation:A 28-year-old woman suffered a fatal brain aneurysm while riding Goliath. An autopsy concluded that the aneurysm pre-existed the victim entering the park, but that stress associated with the ride likely was a factor in her death. The woman’s parents filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Six Flags, alleging that the park was aware of other serious injuries caused by the attraction.
Ride:Scream Date:April 9th, 2004 Cause of Death:Blunt force trauma Legal Proceedings:Victim’s estate was initially awarded $250,000 in workers’ compensation wrongful death benefits, Six Flags successfully fought the verdict on legal grounds Situation:A 21-year-old Six Flags employee was struck and killed by the Scream rollercoaster. It was unknown why the victim was on the tracks at the time of the collision.
Ride:Ninja Date:August 30th, 2008 Cause of Death:Blunt force trauma Situation:A 20-year-old man lost his hat on a ride and was struck by a rollercoaster while attempting to retrieve it. The man climbed over two security fences before being knocked unconscious by the Ninja rollercoaster. He was pronounced dead the following day at the UCLA Medical Center.
Ride:Revolution Date:June 13th, 2015 Cause of Death:Natural causes Lawsuit:Lawsuit filed for wrongful death, defective design Situation:A 10-year-old girl was found unconscious but breathing after the Revolution roller coaster returned to its station. The victim was immediately airlifted to the hospital but succumbed to her injuries the following day. In 2017, a lawsuit was filed against Six Flags Magic Mountain by the victim’s parents. The suit alleged that delayed medical care and the ride’s defective design resulted in the girl’s death. The lawsuit is yet to be resolved.
Fatal Accidents at Six Flags New England
Six Flags New England was initially known by the name Gallup’s Grove. The theme park was initially a picnic grove in the 19th century, with a carousel and mechanical attractions being gradually added in the early 1900s. In 1911, the park was officially transitioned to an amusement park. In 2000, the park was rebranded as Six Flags New England.
As of April 5th, 2023, there have been two reported deathsat Six Flags New England.
Ride:Twisted Train Date: August 2nd, 2000 Cause of Death:Pre-existing medical condition Situation:A 12-year-old boy began experiencing difficulty breathing after getting off the Twisted Train attraction. The park’s emergency personnel began CPR while waiting for first responders to arrive. By the time paramedics arrived, the victim was in cardiac arrest and he was later pronounced dead at Baystate Medical Center.
Ride:Superman: The Ride Date:May 1st, 2004 Cause of Death:Fall Lawsuit:Wrongful death lawsuit filed Situation:A 55-year-old man was thrown from his seat during the rollercoaster’s final turn, immediately suffering fatal injuries in the fall. The victim was reportedly too large to be securely fastened into the ride and should not have been allowed on the attraction. Witnesses claimed that park operators did not verify that passengers were securely strapped in before starting the ride. A wrongful death lawsuit was filed by the victim’s estate.
Fatal Accidents at Six Flags New Orleans
Six Flags New Orleans opened under the name Jazzland in 2000. When the park’s operator went bankrupt, Six Flags acquired the amusement park under a leasing agreement in 2002. The park suffered severe damage during Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans ended the park’s lease in 2009. Six Flags New Orleans was permanently closed following the ending of the park’s lease, due to the extent of the damage caused by the hurricane.
As of April 5th, 2023, there has been one reported deathat Six Flags New Orleans.
Ride:Joker’s Jukebox Date:July 10th, 2003 Cause of Death:Blunt-force internal injuries Situation:A 52-year-old grandmother was in the process of strapping her 4-year-old grandson into the Joker’s Jukebox attraction when the ride started up. At the time of the incident, the cars were estimated to be about three feet from the ground and the victim was standing outside her grandson’s car. The victim suffered injuries to her head and pelvis.
Fatal Accidents at Six Flags Over Georgia
Initially opened in 1967, Six Flags Over Georgia was the second park in the Six Flags chain. It was founded by Argus G. Wynne and featured themes from Warner Bros. Entertainment productions.
As of October 3rd, 2023, there have been seven reported deathsat Six Flags Over Georgia.
Ride:Z-Force Date:July 18th, 1989 Cause of Death:Undetermined Situation:An 11-year-old boy became unresponsive after riding on Z-Force. Park medical staff began CPR, but the victim was pronounced dead at HCA Parkway Medical Center. An autopsy was unable to determine the cause of the boy’s death, but eyewitness reports indicate that he may have had a seizure.
Ride:Batman: The Ride Date:May 26th, 2002 Cause of Death: Head injury Situation:A 58-year-old groundskeeper was walking below the Batman: The Ride rollercoaster when he was struck in the head by the leg of one of the coaster’s riders. The worker was in a restricted area that should have been cleared while the ride was in motion. The passenger who struck the groundskeeper was hospitalized with leg injuries and released.
Ride:Goliath Date:July 27th, 2006 Cause of Death:Heart attack (likely) Situation:A 45-year-old man suffered what appeared to be a fatal heart attack on the Goliath rollercoaster. The victim was conscious during the ride but unresponsive when the train arrived back at the station. The man had a congenital heart condition and his death was expected to be ruled due to natural causes.
Ride:Batman: The Ride Date:June 28th, 2008 Cause of Death:Decapitation Situation:A 17-year-old man climbed over a pair of six-foot fences to access the space underneath the Batman: The Ride rollercoaster. The victim was decapitated by the attraction’s train. A second person that also jumped both fences was unharmed. Eyewitnesses state that the two men were attempting to take a shortcut to get back into the park after lunch, while other reports indicate that the deceased victim was attempting to retrieve a hat.
Ride:Hurricane Harbor Associated Dates:May 29th, 2014 (initial injury) & July 18th, 2014 (date of death) Cause of Death:Bacterial infection / blood clot in the lungs Lawsuit:Wrongful death lawsuit filed Situation:On the opening day at Hurricane Harbor, a 14-year-old girl became ill after using the park’s wave pool. The pool was evacuated, as it smelled strongly of chlorine. The girl that fell ill passed away at Egleston Children’s hospital nearly two months later, after suffering ongoing respiratory problems. A bacterial infection and undetected blood clot in the victim’s lungs proved fatal. A wrongful death lawsuit was filed against Six Flags Over Georgia, multiple hospitals, and the manufacturer of an allegedly defective oxygenation machine.
Ride:None (parking lot) Date:March 6th, 2021 Cause of Death:Car accident Situation:A 2-year-old boy from Atlanta was fatally struck by a car in the Six Flags Over Georgia parking lot. The child, his three siblings, and a relative were all at the park together. When the group was leaving the park, the female relative mistakenly thought that all of the kids were in the car and accidentally struck the victim with her vehicle.
Ride: None (employee-only access road) Date: October 1st, 2023 Cause of Death: Fall from moving vehicle Situation: A 43-year-old woman was thrown from a moving 2004 Ford Econoline as it made a left-hand turn on an employee-only access road. The woman immediately suffered serious head injuries and was taken to Grady Hospital, where she was declared deceased. The van was being driven by a Six Flags Over Georgia employee and had several more employees in the rear cargo compartment, including the victim. An investigation into the accident is still ongoing.
Fatal Accidents at Six Flags Over Texas
Six Flags Over Texas is the first-ever amusement park in the Six Flags franchise. After visiting Disneyland, Angus Wynne Jr. concluded that his home state of Texas needed a similar theme park. Thus, the first Six Flags park opened its gates in 1961.
As of April 5th, 2023, there have been five reported deathsat Six Flags Over Texas.
Ride:El Sombrero Date:August 8th, 1968 Cause of Death:Fall into machinery Situation:An 18-year-old park employee was fatally injured while attempting to help riders off El Sombrero. The victim lost his footing and fell into a three-foot deep machinery pit, where he suffered deadly face and head wounds.
Ride:Roaring Rapids Date:March 21st, 1999 Cause of Death:Drowning Lawsuit:Victim’s family received a $4 million settlement from Six Flags, with an additional lawsuit brought against a manufacturer of the ride’s parts Situation:A 28-year-old woman drowned and 10 other park visitors were injured when the raft they were on suddenly overturned. The air chambers keeping the vessel afloat abruptly deflated and the raft then caught on an underwater pipe, which flipped the boat over. Six Flags settled with the victim’s family for $4 million. The amusement park anticipated recovering most of the settlement value from a second lawsuit against the ride’s manufacturer.
Ride:Hurricane Harbor Date:September 5th, 2011 Cause of Death:Drowning Lawsuit:Wrongful death lawsuit filed Situation:A 64-year-old grandmother was found unresponsive in the park’s lazy river. She was removed from the water and employees began to attempt CPR, but the victim’s family alleges that the park’s response was insufficient. A wrongful death lawsuit filed by the victim’s family alleges that treatment was delayed, proper medical procedures were not followed, and a faulty defibrillator was used during the rescue attempt.
Ride:New Texas Giant Date:July 19th, 2013 Cause of Death:Multiple traumatic injuries Lawsuit:Wrongful death lawsuits filed against Six Flags and Gerstlauer, both settled for undisclosed amounts Situation:A 52-year-old mother was thrown from the New Texas Giant rollercoaster, falling approximately 75 feet to her death. Eyewitnesses report that the victim feared she was not properly secured on the ride before the fatal fall. When the woman was ejected from her seat, she fell from the height of approximately a seven-story building, hitting a metal support beam on the way down. Her family filed wrongful death lawsuits against the theme park and ride’s manufacturer, receiving undisclosed settlements from both parties.
Ride:Hurricane Harbor Date:June 23rd, 2021 Cause of Death:Gunshot Situation:A fight broke out between six-to-eight people in the parking lot of Six Flags Hurricane Harbor. An off-duty police officer that witnessed the brawl and heard a gunshot found one teenage victim apparently shot a single time. The 16-year-old was taken to a local hospital, where he succumbed to his injury. An 18-year-old man was later arrested in connection with the fatal shooting.
Fatal Accidents at Six Flags St. Louis
Originally known as Six Flags Over Mid-America, Six Flags St. Louis is the third amusement park in Angus Wynne’s original franchise. The park opened in 1971 and has undergone multiple renovations and area redesigns since its initial launch.
As of April 5th, 2023, there have been four reported deathsat Six Flags St. Louis.
Ride:Skyway Date:July 26th, 1978 Cause of Death:Fall Lawsuit: A $4.5 million lawsuit was filed on behalf of the surviving rider Situation:A support beam on the Skyway broke, sending a gondola with four occupants in it plummeting to the ground. A man and two of his three nieces, all of whom were in the gondola, perished in the accident. The ride was shut down immediately, with firefighters called to the scene to rescue the then-trapped occupants of other gondolas.
Ride:Rail Blazer Date:July 7th, 1984 Cause of Death:Fall Lawsuit:Wrongful death lawsuit filed, $1.8 million settlement approved Situation:A 46-year-old woman was thrown to her death from the Rail Blazer which, at the time, was the third stand-up rollercoaster in the world. Park statements claimed that the victim fainted and fell from the car, but her husband’s account contradicts that narrative. He states that she had simply been flung from the car on a sharp curve. A wrongful death lawsuit resulted in a $1.8 million settlement for the victim’s family.
Fatal Accidents at Six Flags Worlds of Adventure / Ohio
Six Flags Worlds of Adventure is a former Six Flags amusement park. The park began operating in 1887 and went through many owners, briefly becoming a part of the Six Flags franchise from 2000 to 2003.
As of April 5th, 2023, there has been one reported deathat Six Flags Worlds of Adventure (while under the name Geauga Lake).
Ride:Double Loop Date:May 23, 1997 Cause of Death:Asthma attack Situation:A 14-year-old girl on a field trip to the amusement park began to have trouble breathing during the Double Loop roller coaster. The victim collapsed after the ride ended and was quickly transported to Columbia Solon St. Luke’s Medical Center. She was pronounced dead at the hospital and it was discovered that she had suffered a serious asthma attack.
For this study, we primarily drew upon data collected by the United States Department of Labor and Rides DataBase. After creating a list of accidents from the aforementioned sources, we reviewed historical archives, local newspapers, and legal records to gain additional information about each incident. To protect the privacy of victims’ families, those that lost their lives in Six Flags accidents have not been named in this study.
If you would like to use any of the visuals or statistics found in this study for republishing or news reports, please provide a link back to this page.