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No major problems with roller coaster that fatally struck man

Published: Friday, August 14, 2015 @ 5:20 PM
Updated: Friday, August 14, 2015 @ 5:20 PM
By: Associated Press

A safety inspection found no major problems with a roller coaster that struck and killed a man who entered a restricted area to look for a lost cellphone at Cedar Point amusement park, a spokesman said Friday.

Police say 45-year-old James A. Young had just finished riding the Raptor on Thursday and jumped over a fence to retrieve something he dropped during the 57 mph ride. The Erie County coroner says it was his cellphone.

Sandusky police said Young was struck by the ride or someone on it. No one else was hurt.

The ride was examined overnight by state safety officials and found to be in safe working order, so it resumed operating Friday, park spokesman Bryan Edwards said. He wouldn’t comment on whether officials are considering any changes to the Raptor or the area around it.

“Safety is always our highest priority here at Cedar Point, and we will continue to be vigilant in our efforts to provide an enjoyable, safe experience for all of our guests,” he said.

The amusement park sits along Lake Erie in Sandusky and has billed itself as the best in the world.

Cedar Point is owned by Cedar Fair, which also owns several other indoor and outdoor parks, including Kings Island in Mason.

The park expressed condolences to Young’s family, Edwards said.

Young was from East Canton and had worked as a teacher for special-needs students in nearby Louisville last school year and, before that, in Alliance, The (Canton) Repository reported.

Cedar Point on Friday also said it was delaying an upcoming ride announcement because of Thursday’s death.

The 9 p.m. Tuesday announcement was billed as historic and record-breaking, and was largely expected to involve the addition of a new roller coaster opening in 2016, the (Cleveland) Plain Dealer reported.

A statement from Edwards, emailed to media Friday, said, “Due to yesterday’s incident, we are respectfully postponing our 2016 announcement event.”

He said he didn’t know when the announcement would take place.