No charges in amputee vet's roller coaster death
Wed, 13 Jul 2011 14:43:21 GMT —
A popular western New York theme park will not face any criminal charges in the death of an Iraq war veteran who fell from a roller coaster last week. He was a double amputee who was not wearing prosthetic limbs at the time of the accident.
Genesee County Sheriff's investigators says it appears to be a tragic accident.
He fell about 150 feet from the last and second highest of three hills on the coaster and landed on the grass.
Investigators say signs at the ride clearly state riders "must have two legs." They say Hackemer never should have been allowed on the ride and workers violated park policy.
Authorities say Hackemer "didn't have the physical attributes" to hold him in the ride. Investigators say operators knew he was a double amputee but allowed him to ride it anyway. However, they will not face any charges.
The state Labor Department, which enforces amusement ride safety in New York, is also investigating Hackemer's death.
The 29-year-old father of two had lost both his legs to a roadside bomb in Iraq in 2008. His relatives have said they do not hold the theme park responsible.
Hackemer will be laid to rest in his hometown of Gowanda tomorrow. He will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Do you agree with the decision not to file charges against the theme park? Who do you hold responsible? Or do you this was just a terrible accident? Will you avoid roller coasters in light of this? What should be done to prevent this from happening again? Leave your thoughts below.
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Information from the Associated Press was used in this article.