Skip to comments.Victim opened belt, stood on coaster (STUPID ALERT)
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.
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
Of course not. This is a 'Darwin Award' winner if I ever saw one.
Spirited - quite likely. Intelligent???
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.
but dumber than a rock. 'Nuff 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....
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?
The Curse of the Last Name Fulfillment once again surfaces.
Hold muh bee e e e e e r!
Clearly she wasn't a physics major...
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.
Cold hearted, I am; but, maybe the park should sue the deceased's estate for bring bad publicity on them.
The Curse of the Last Name Fulfillment once again surfaces.
Good catch! (no pun intended...but why the heck not!)
Witness: Rider 'virtually standing up'
Holiday World coaster death officially ruled accident
By DAVE HOSICK Courier & Press staff writer 464-7449 or
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.
Note: Already posted somewhere, no doubt.
I work with one. Apparently it signifies an ability to add and subtract.
What a pant-load.
Unless, of course, they slipped on the water ring and fell off the table... Hmmmm....
You have to be careful what you wish for.
"Hold my Manichewitz and watch this!"
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