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Victim opened belt, stood on coaster (STUPID ALERT)
NY Daily News ^ | June 4, 2003 | By AUSTIN FENNER and BILL HUTCHINSON

Posted on 06/04/2003 5:50:00 PM PDT by WellsFargo94

The Manhattan woman thrown to her death from an Indiana roller coaster had unbuckled her seat belt and was "virtually standing up" as the thrill ride careened along at 60 mph, authorities said yesterday. The stunning revelation came as 1,500 relatives and friends attended funeral services for Tamar Fellner, 32, who had earned a Harvard M.B.A. and ran her own business.

Spencer County Prosecutor Jon Dartt said witnesses at the Holiday World & Splashin' Safari park saw Fellner unlatch her seat belt and get up in a bid to get what roller-coaster enthusiasts call air time.

She made the fatal mistake of trying the daredevil move Saturday night on The Raven - one of the world's most terrifying roller coasters, he said.

Fellner, who weighed 100 pounds, was ejected from the car she shared with her fiancé, Robert Weitzner, and plunged 69 feet to her death.

"Witnesses state that near the time of the accident, an individual matching the description of Ms. Fellner was seen in the last car of the roller coaster virtually standing up while the ride was in progress," said Dartt, adding that he was awaiting the results of toxicology tests.

Fellner was a member of American Coaster Enthusiasts, a group of thrill seekers who met over the weekend at the park for the annual Stark Raven Mad Event.

Safety warning

Holiday World spokeswoman Paula Werne said the group had been warned not to tamper with the safety equipment during the 100-second ride.

At a welcoming ceremony the night before the accident, Werne went over the rules, she said.

"I specifically said, 'Leave your seat belt buckled; don't mess with our safety equipment. We're here to have fun,'" Werne told the Daily News yesterday. "We said it, we put it in writing. But yet what you prayed not to happen, unfortunately happened."

Sean Flaharty, a spokesman for American Coaster Enthusiasts, said he was shocked that someone in his group would be so careless. "In my opinion, the ride is thrilling enough," said Flaharty, who rode The Raven moments before the accident.

As The Raven remained shut yesterday, 1,500 people filled Temple Beth Shalom in Livingston, N.J., for Fellner's funeral.

"She was spirited and intelligent," said Arianna Patterson, a member of the temple where Felner's father, Azriel Fellner, is the rabbi. "She was always trying to better herself and help people. Her death makes no sense."

With Chelsea Phua


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: coaster; rollercoaster; victim
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1 posted on 06/04/2003 5:50:01 PM PDT by WellsFargo94
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To: WellsFargo94
Her death makes no sense.

Of course not. This is a 'Darwin Award' winner if I ever saw one.

2 posted on 06/04/2003 5:51:45 PM PDT by LibKill (MOAB, the greatest advance in Foreign Relations since the cat-o'-nine-tails!)
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To: WellsFargo94
She was spirited and intelligent

Spirited - quite likely. Intelligent???

3 posted on 06/04/2003 5:53:06 PM PDT by Cachelot (~ In waters near you ~)
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To: WellsFargo94
Her death makes no sense.

Sure it does--you stand up in a roller coaster running at 60mph and you get thrown out. Sounds pretty cut and dried to me.

4 posted on 06/04/2003 5:53:42 PM PDT by randog (Everything works great 'til the current flows.)
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To: WellsFargo94
Amazing. You can't make this stuff up.
5 posted on 06/04/2003 5:53:51 PM PDT by Excuse_My_Bellicosity (No animals were harmed during the making of this post.)
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Comment #6 Removed by Moderator

To: LibKill
Her death makes perfect sense to me. She stood up on a friggin roller coaster during the ride!
7 posted on 06/04/2003 5:54:22 PM PDT by nhoward14
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To: WellsFargo94
Harvard M.B.A.

but dumber than a rock. 'Nuff said.

8 posted on 06/04/2003 5:59:39 PM PDT by Drango (A liberal's compassion is limited only by the size of someone else's wallet.)
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To: WellsFargo94
Oy! Whodda thought? A nice Jewish girl from Manhattan's last words were "Y'all watch this!"
9 posted on 06/04/2003 6:01:14 PM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets ("ALL THE NEWS THAT FITS, WE PRINT")
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To: WellsFargo94
Victim opened belt, stood on coaster


This doesn't fit the definition of "victim" It does however fit the definition of stupid
10 posted on 06/04/2003 6:04:52 PM PDT by Damagro
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To: WellsFargo94
Tamar Fellner, 32, who had earned a Harvard M.B.A. and ran her own business....

witnesses at the Holiday World & Splashin' Safari park saw Fellner unlatch her seat belt and get up in a bid to get what roller-coaster enthusiasts call air time....

Fellner, who weighed 100 pounds, was ejected from the car and plunged 69 feet to her death....

"She was spirited and intelligent," said Arianna Patterson.

Wonder where her "spirit" is now?

11 posted on 06/04/2003 6:05:59 PM PDT by The Brush
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To: WellsFargo94
Tamar Fellner,

The Curse of the Last Name Fulfillment once again surfaces.

12 posted on 06/04/2003 6:06:36 PM PDT by small voice in the wilderness
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To: WellsFargo94
One bright spot to this story though, she is out of the gene pool. Natural selection wins another one
13 posted on 06/04/2003 6:07:56 PM PDT by Damagro
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To: WellsFargo94

The Raven

14 posted on 06/04/2003 6:07:59 PM PDT by scan58
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To: WellsFargo94
She was a risk taking educated idiot! RIP
15 posted on 06/04/2003 6:08:06 PM PDT by A CA Guy (God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets
"Hold muh Matzah and watch this!"
16 posted on 06/04/2003 6:08:14 PM PDT by Flyer ( 1999 - 2003)
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To: WellsFargo94
Hold muh bee
             e
              e
              e
              e
              e
              r!

17 posted on 06/04/2003 6:08:30 PM PDT by Redcloak (All work and no FReep makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no FReep make s Jack a dul boy. Allwork an)
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To: WellsFargo94
Harvard M.B.A.

Clearly she wasn't a physics major...

18 posted on 06/04/2003 6:11:16 PM PDT by Drango (A liberal's compassion is limited only by the size of someone else's wallet.)
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To: WellsFargo94
"Witnesses state that near the time of the accident, an individual matching the description of Ms. Fellner was seen in the last car of the roller coaster virtually standing up while the ride was in progress,"

In my mind if someone deliberately overrides safety features, deliberately ignores safety instructions, and deliberately takes foolish risk the foreseeable consequences of those deliberate actions cannot be termed an accident.

The park and its owners must be held blameless in this tragedy. Some gold digging ambulance chaser will no doubt argue that the ride should have had tamper proof restraints. But people (especially those of intelligence as this woman obviously was despite her actions) will find a way to overcome obstacles to there desires.

This woman was seeking the ultimate thrill. She got it.

19 posted on 06/04/2003 6:11:18 PM PDT by Pontiac
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To: WellsFargo94
No victim. Apparent involuntary suicide.
20 posted on 06/04/2003 6:11:54 PM PDT by Consort
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To: WellsFargo94
Harvard vs. physics. Physics 1, Harvard 0.
21 posted on 06/04/2003 6:14:57 PM PDT by Leisler (So You're A Feminist......How Cute!)
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To: Drango
Harvard....typical.
22 posted on 06/04/2003 6:15:02 PM PDT by RecklessConservative
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To: LibKill
I saw an article a year or so ago that this incident reminded me of, it had to do with people who do stupid things like this and how it is really a good thing because it thins out the gene pool of people who are inherently stupid. If anyone can remember the article I would love to get a copy.
23 posted on 06/04/2003 6:15:08 PM PDT by cabbieguy (eye suport publik edukashun)
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To: scan58
This ride reminds me of the Blue Streak roller coaster at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio. It too has only seat belts that can be unfastened during the ride by the customer. At least it did the last time I rode the coaster about 5 years ago.
24 posted on 06/04/2003 6:15:11 PM PDT by Pontiac
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To: LibKill
"Manhattan woman thrown to her death"
"Her death makes no sense."

Of course it does, vacancy, apartment available!
25 posted on 06/04/2003 6:16:25 PM PDT by John Beresford Tipton
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets
A "Hold my Bagel and watch this" Alert???


26 posted on 06/04/2003 6:16:38 PM PDT by texson66 ("Tyranny is yielding to the lust of the governing." - Lord Moulton)
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To: WellsFargo94
Uh ... did her fiancé, Robert Weitzner, reportedly 'belted in' next to her anything to say or add to this?
27 posted on 06/04/2003 6:16:58 PM PDT by _Jim (http://www.biomedcentral.com/news/20030320/09/)
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To: Pontiac
Some gold digging ambulance chaser will no doubt argue that the ride should have had tamper proof restraints.

Cold hearted, I am; but, maybe the park should sue the deceased's estate for bring bad publicity on them.

28 posted on 06/04/2003 6:17:16 PM PDT by don-o
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To: small voice in the wilderness
Tamar Fellner,

The Curse of the Last Name Fulfillment once again surfaces.

Good catch! (no pun intended...but why the heck not!)

29 posted on 06/04/2003 6:21:41 PM PDT by WellsFargo94
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To: Redcloak; Lonesome in Massachussets
ROFLMAO!
30 posted on 06/04/2003 6:23:10 PM PDT by WellsFargo94
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To: WellsFargo94
Didn't the same thing happen in Disney World a few years ago?
31 posted on 06/04/2003 6:23:43 PM PDT by Arpege92
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To: WellsFargo94
Classic Harvard, no common sense/street smarts.
Harvard Law School, '72
32 posted on 06/04/2003 6:26:08 PM PDT by Viet Vet in Augusta GA
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To: WellsFargo94
"Quoth the RAVEN.....nevermore...and please keep your seats"
33 posted on 06/04/2003 6:28:20 PM PDT by Khurkris (Ranger On...)
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To: _Jim
The following is from the Evansville Courier, the local newspaper:

Witness: Rider 'virtually standing up'

Holiday World coaster death officially ruled accident

By DAVE HOSICK Courier & Press staff writer 464-7449 or

hosickd@evansville.net

June 4, 2003

SANTA CLAUS, Ind. - The woman who fell to her death Saturday while aboard The Raven roller coaster at Holiday World may have been "virtually standing up" while the ride was in progress, a witness has told investigators.

A preliminary investigation report released Tuesday by Spencer County Prosecutor John Dartt indicated the death Saturday of 32-year-old Tamar Fellner of New York City officially has been ruled an accident.

"Witnesses state that near the time of the accident, an individual matching the description of Ms. Fellner was seen in the last car of the roller coaster virtually standing up while the ride was in progress," the report indicated.

In addition, witnesses told investigators that Fellner's seat belt, which later was checked and shown to be working properly, was unbuckled but her lap bar was locked, according to a news release from Dartt's office. Fellner, who was buried Tuesday, was visiting Holiday World as part of the "Stark Raven Mad" publicity event designed for members of roller coaster enthusiast clubs. She was a member of American Coaster Enthusiasts, an international group, but was relatively unknown by other members, a club representative told the Courier & Press.

The Raven was scheduled to close to the public after 8 p.m. Saturday, but Fellner was among the passengers on the final public ride of the day, Holiday World owner Will Koch said. She died after falling about 60 feet, just after 8 p.m. Saturday.

Koch said passengers on the coasters are warned to adhere to the rules while on the ride. The warnings "are posted in numerous locations on signage, and we give the riders instructions and remaining seated is an important one," he said.

However, coaster enthusiasts sometimes seek the maximum thrill on an exciting ride like The Raven, he said.

"We have occasional reports of people doing things that they shouldn't, but we make a big effort at this event to warn everyone to follow the safety rules," Koch said. "It's a bit more of a concern (at the special events), but a lot of these folks ride the right way and follow the rules. But there are always a few folks who kind of ruin it for everyone."

Koch said the investigation is ongoing, but everything "is pointing toward that direction" that Fellner may have unhooked her seat belt during the ride.

The investigation is expected to conclude in about two weeks. Investigators are awaiting the results of toxicology tests on Fellner and interviewing additional witnesses. Gary Slade, editor of Amusement Today, a trade magazine that tracks the amusement park industry, said coaster enthusiast groups, as a whole, ride coasters just like the general public and do not endanger themselves or others.

Fellner's death is the first ride-related fatality in the 25-year history of the American Coaster Enthusiasts. That speaks volumes of how safety-conscious riders are, Slade said.

Holiday World also has an impeccable safety record, Slade said. Because of that, the staff will become more observant as a result of the death, but few ripple effects are expected at amusement parks across the country. That might not be the case if a mechanical error was to blame, he said.

"Early speculation indicates (that) rider irresponsibility (was the blame), and there is nothing you can do about that," Slade added. "You can't hold the hand of every guest that comes through the turnstile. There has to be a certain responsibility of each guest visiting the park."

The Raven and The Legend, another coaster at Holiday World, were both inspected again on Tuesday. The Legend will reopen today, but The Raven will remain closed until an independent coaster expert has the opportunity to inspect the ride again. It could open by this weekend, Koch said.

34 posted on 06/04/2003 6:28:54 PM PDT by freedom4ever
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets
Comical quote of the day!!!
35 posted on 06/04/2003 6:29:21 PM PDT by STEAMER (My dog ate my tagline.)
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To: cabbieguy
Is this what you are thinking of?

Basic Laws of Human Stupidity

Note: Already posted somewhere, no doubt.

36 posted on 06/04/2003 6:30:53 PM PDT by don-o
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To: WellsFargo94
Tamar Fellner, 32, who had earned a Harvard M.B.A.

I work with one. Apparently it signifies an ability to add and subtract.

37 posted on 06/04/2003 6:34:57 PM PDT by TC Rider (The United States Constitution 1791. All Rights Reserved.)
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To: don-o
Thanks, but no that wasn't the article. I think I got a copy and it was posted in the Arizona Republic, but have somehow misplaced it. Was funny as hell, and right on target.
38 posted on 06/04/2003 6:44:03 PM PDT by cabbieguy (eye suport publik edukashun)
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To: freedom4ever
Hmmm ... nothing further about her fiancé, Robert Weitzner, who was reportedly 'belted in' next to her ... is he not talking or is he still in shock I wonder ...

39 posted on 06/04/2003 6:44:56 PM PDT by _Jim (http://www.biomedcentral.com/news/20030320/09/)
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To: Pontiac
I wouldn't count on it. The plaintiffs lawyers are counting the money now.
40 posted on 06/04/2003 6:45:34 PM PDT by JusPasenThru (We're through being cool (you can say that again, Dad))
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To: WellsFargo94
"She was spirited and intelligent," said Arianna Patterson, a member of the temple where Felner's father, Azriel Fellner, is the rabbi. "She was always trying to better herself and help people. Her death makes no sense."

What a pant-load.

41 posted on 06/04/2003 6:46:33 PM PDT by TomServo (Free Illbay!!)
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To: WellsFargo94
I just love headlines. Here I am thinking someone took their belt off and stood on a coaster... How in the heck does someone die while standing on a coaster while their pants are falling down?

Unless, of course, they slipped on the water ring and fell off the table... Hmmmm....

42 posted on 06/04/2003 6:47:06 PM PDT by Hatteras (The Thundering Herd Of Turtles ROCK!)
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To: TC Rider
But, in the aforementioned case, not to multiply.
43 posted on 06/04/2003 6:48:08 PM PDT by Old Professer
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To: WellsFargo94
Spencer County Prosecutor Jon Dartt said witnesses at the Holiday World & Splashin' Safari park saw Fellner unlatch her seat belt and get up in a bid to get what roller-coaster enthusiasts call air time.

You have to be careful what you wish for.

44 posted on 06/04/2003 6:50:44 PM PDT by VadeRetro
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To: Leisler
Thanks for giving my wife the best laugh she's had in about a month. You are truly the, "hero for the day!".
45 posted on 06/04/2003 6:53:01 PM PDT by TomServo (Free Illbay!!)
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets
Nope....it was:

"Hold my Manichewitz and watch this!"

46 posted on 06/04/2003 6:56:13 PM PDT by Thumper1960
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets
I have a Harvard M.B.A. friend...that is one of his accomplishments on the way to a PhD or two but the sad part of the story is that all of the "intelligence" one might think that this man has does not over come his TOTAL lack of social skills. Social skills = ZERO. He can hug a tree but speaking to another is impossible....he will mountain climb and sky dive and raft the impossible but to have a "real" conversation is not a possiblity. I suspect this girl was the same...wanting a thrill, attention and to relate in some way but she had to be the best. You are correct another version of "Hold my beer....WATCH THIS !!!", usually that is just ditch jumpin'.
47 posted on 06/04/2003 6:58:23 PM PDT by MissL
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To: Old Professer
Exactly
48 posted on 06/04/2003 6:58:27 PM PDT by TC Rider (The United States Constitution 1791. All Rights Reserved.)
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To: WellsFargo94
She got some air time, all right. Including a bit of freefall. I hope she enjoyed it.
49 posted on 06/04/2003 7:00:37 PM PDT by .38sw
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To: Alouette
Darwin award winner Ping! :)
50 posted on 06/04/2003 7:02:17 PM PDT by CARepubGal
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