BALTIMORE (WJZ) — After the breakdown of a popular Six Flags America ride last week that left 24 riders stranded, some are questioning whether thrill rides can be trusted?
George Solis explains why some enthusiasts are saying “ride with confidence.”
While there’s been no clear explanation as to why the Joker’s Jinx roller coaster broke down, what is known is that the ride did everything it was supposed to, to keep those onboard safe.
Dramatic go-pro video captured the daring rescue of riders, as a thrill ride that quickly turned to terror for two dozen people on board a Six Flags America roller coaster.
“We just thought it was some sort of joke,” says rider Desidariaus Valverde.
Some stuck as long as four hours, nearly 100 feet above ground from the Joker’s Jinx on a ride that some say has been living up to its namesake. The ride experienced a similar malfunction in 2014.
“You went through a few turns and it really stopped abruptly it was like bam!” says rider Matt Lepke.
WJZ learned the ride passed it’s most recent inspection in March. As far as rethinking another ride on that or any other roller coaster, experts say when you look at all the facts it’s really not that hard of a decision to make.
“It’s about a 1 in 700 million chance that a person will be in a fatality at an amusement park. Obviously, it’s much higher just driving to the park itself,” says amusement park expert and author Pete Trabucco.
As far as what happened, Trabucco says in the simplest terms, for whatever reason the ride ran out of steam and as it’s supposed to automatically shut down.
Roller coaster advocates also standing by the ride’s safety.
“There’s no reason to be timid about a roller coaster just because of a quirky situation because they’re designed to be safe and exciting,” says Tim Baldwin, Communications Director for American Coaster Enthusiasts.
Those who’ve lived through the experience telling WJZ they’re okay, but there’s some level of apprehension.
“I would still go back to Six Flags,” says Desidariaus Valverde.
“I really do like the roller coasters it’s just now I’m going to be a little skiddish,” says Julia Valverde.
The Valverde family tells WJZ Six Flags has not been in touch with them since the ordeal. They’re hoping to be in touch soon. The investigation into what went wrong on the ride is ongoing.