Coaster decapitates teenager at Six Flags

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AUSTELL, Ga. --- A teenager was decapitated by a roller coaster after he hopped a pair of fences and entered a restricted area Saturday at Six Flags Over Georgia, authorities said.

Six Flags officials are uncertain why the unidentified 17-year-old from Columbia scaled two six-foot fences and passed signs that said the restricted area was both off-limits and dangerous to visitors, spokeswoman Hela Sheth said in a news release.

Authorities were investigating reports from witnesses who said the teenager jumped the fences to retrieve a hat he lost while riding the Batman roller coaster, said Cobb County police Sgt. Dana Pierce.

Three security guards were keeping visitors away from the ride Saturday.

Police said the ride was going full-speed when the teen was struck. The ride's top speed is 50 mph, according to the Six Flags Web site.

No one on the roller coaster was injured, Ms. Sheth said. The teen's friend also entered the restricted area but was not injured, Sgt. Pierce said.

The teen and his parents were at the park with a group from Oakey Spring Baptist Church near Springfield, S.C., police said.

In June 2007, a teenager's legs were severed when cables snapped on the Superman Tower of Power ride at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom in Louisville, Ky. Doctors were able to reattach Kaitlyn Lasitter's right foot, but she had to have some of her left leg amputated and undergo subsequent surgeries.

State officials blame a faulty cable and slow response by an amusement park ride operator in the accident. Her family is suing Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom, saying the park failed to maintain the ride and equipment and ensure riders' safety. The amusement park has denied liability in court filings.

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WhiskyDick
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WhiskyDick 06/29/08 - 06:10 am
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Musta been a nice hat!

Musta been a nice hat!

patriciathomas
42
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patriciathomas 06/29/08 - 06:23 am
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My life for a hat. Teens just

My life for a hat. Teens just think they're bulletproof.

kai@reasontostand.org
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kai@reasontostand.org 06/29/08 - 07:33 am
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"Six Flags officials are

"Six Flags officials are uncertain why the unidentified 17-year-old from Columbia scaled two six-foot fences and passed signs that said the restricted area was both off-limits and dangerous to visitors"

I'd like to propose a reason. He was dense.

Bizarro
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Bizarro 06/29/08 - 07:40 am
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Why mention the other

Why mention the other unrelated incident where the park was obvioulsy at fault with this where the teenager is at fault. How many of us have done stupid things and fortunately lived. If I werre a cat and added up all the incidents-let see 9 lives per cat-hmm, that would be 2-3 cats-maybe more. Fallen, drowned, electrocuted, almost shot, what else? My prayers to the family. I hate when any young person dies in an accidents. It just seems so wrong and really bothers me too much. If I was the parent and attended that Church and then one of the good folks told me "Well it is their time and the good Lord wants them-And God never gives you more than you can tolerate". Well they'd be burying them next to my son. Even if it is true I wouldn't really want to hear it. Really sad.

GaMedic
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GaMedic 06/29/08 - 08:20 am
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My prayers go out for the

My prayers go out for the teen's family and friends. PThomas is right. When you are young you think there's no tomorrow, the bill will never come due. One day everybody's bill comes due! This may have been the first time this teen did something that "close to the edge" but probably not. Like Bizarro, we probably have all done things that, upon reflection, we are amazed didn't cause us to suffer serious injury or death. As a Christian I know God has a plan. This did not catch Him by surprise. But like Bizarro, don't be up in my "grill" trying to tell me all that while I'm grieving. Sometimes folks don't know what to say and instead of going with a "my prayers are with you" or just a gentle hand squeeze they pontificate on God's will. Plainly stated...Just cuz ya gotta thought or an opinion that pops into ya head don't mean it hasta flow outta ya mouth! If you're not sure, go with zip the lip! God bless y'all and enjoy the day!

Bored in GA
2
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Bored in GA 06/29/08 - 08:30 am
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There must have been a reason

There must have been a reason for the 2 fences to keep people out! WOW.....God did not promise us the tomorrow ...just have to be ready when our time comes!

Bizarro
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Bizarro 06/29/08 - 08:34 am
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Amen GAMedic. Sometimes less

Amen GAMedic. Sometimes less is more!

edst4
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edst4 06/29/08 - 08:50 am
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What about the people that we

What about the people that we were on the ride, maybe they did see it maybe they didnt. I am hoping they didnt. Plus the 2nd set of cars that is right behind the one where the teenager got hit. More than likely they saw it. I could not fathome how they feel or what they saw. I feel for the friends and family of the teenager.

farfrompuken 101
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farfrompuken 101 06/29/08 - 09:02 am
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what an idiot he couldn't

what an idiot he couldn't wait till the ride stopped at got one the park officials to go retrieve the hat for him. i agree with whiskydick!!!!!!

Ushouldnthave
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Ushouldnthave 06/29/08 - 09:05 am
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I'm sure a jury will decide

I'm sure a jury will decide that the fences weren't enough. There should have been an alligator filled moat around the fence, and the fence should have been an unclimbable wall and the signs should have had flashing lights, and where were the guards and why does that coaster have to go so fast, bla bla bla.

Ushouldnthave
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Ushouldnthave 06/29/08 - 09:05 am
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I'm sure a jury will decide

I'm sure a jury will decide that the fences weren't enough. There should have been an alligator filled moat around the fence, and the fence should have been an unclimbable wall and the signs should have had flashing lights, and where were the guards and why does that coaster have to go so fast, bla bla bla.

DeborahElliott2
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DeborahElliott2 06/29/08 - 09:17 am
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We were going to go there,

We were going to go there, and decided to wait. I am so glad we waited, cause my kids would have been never wanting to go back there! I can only imagine how horrified people were and the group he was with......oooohhhh.

WAG
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WAG 06/29/08 - 10:14 am
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Some of the comments on here

Some of the comments on here are so callous.
The parents of this child have lost him in the most horriffic way.
I can not imagine the pain they are going thru. Their life will never be the same.
All kids do crazy things. As do adults...You know like drunk driving....But he did not deserve to die. All kids think they are invencible. That is why we call them kids.....
I just know that my heart goes out to these parents. And the friends and family. Here were parents trying to do the right thing. There with their son on a church outing...Unlike so many parents that don't even know where their kids are.... I pray for this family to have the strength to get thru this tragedy.
As for all of you on here hug your kid just a little tighter. You still have them even if they do make some crazy mistakes sometimes...... As all kids do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ccrcresident
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ccrcresident 06/29/08 - 10:21 am
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Parents need to tell their

Parents need to tell their childen this story and let them know how important warnings are at these places. You cannot watch your child 24/7 at this age but you can teach the younger kids about these incidents so they wont make the same mistake. i told my 13,10,and 9 year old girls about this last night and explained to them what this boy may have done wrong and pray they wont make the same mistake.....pray for this child , his family and friends.....

TakeAstand
13
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TakeAstand 06/29/08 - 11:04 am
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I wondered that too

I wondered that too Bizzaro... just taking a stab at six flags I guess. My sympathy to the family. Perhaps this child was just to lazy to take the walk around through where he should at the entrance then all the way back to the coaster and wanted to cut through. I hope other children learn this is why we have rules, regulations, signs and warnings.. for people to use common sense to follow and to help those without any common sense at all..... They are not made up just for the fun of it. What a sad shame.

WAG
287
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WAG 06/29/08 - 11:07 am
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Deborah is this all you can

Deborah is this all you can get out of this that your darling kids would never go back there...Precious little angels...a child is dead. Kids need to see things like this. It teaches them..The horror is that this childs head was cut off not the fact your kids would not want to go back.....Pray for this family.

silentwings
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silentwings 06/29/08 - 11:11 am
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The end result is what stupid

The end result is what stupid will get you.

owensjef2
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owensjef2 06/29/08 - 11:16 am
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Wag I agree these comments

Wag I agree these comments are uncalled for!

nicsmom
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nicsmom 06/29/08 - 11:58 am
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I don't think that Deborah

I don't think that Deborah was uncalled for. She was simply stating that she was glad her daughters weren't there to witness this horrific situation.

nicsmom
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nicsmom 06/29/08 - 12:01 pm
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My prayers are with this

My prayers are with this family. And with those who witnessed it.

WAG
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WAG 06/29/08 - 12:34 pm
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All of these statements about

All of these statements about him being stupid are uncalled for.
Yea he was stupid but he was a kid.... I am an adult and I do stupid things every day. But do I deserve to die? Ummm no!!!
There go I or my kids or grandkids but for the Grace of God.
Like I said my heart just hurts for his parents and family and friends. Please keep them in your prayers.

TakeAstand
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TakeAstand 06/29/08 - 12:52 pm
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Though the comments were not

Though the comments were not very sympathetic, no one said this kid deserved to die at all. And stupid may be a harsh word, would carelss, thoughtless rebellious breaking the rules act make you feel better? At 17, this could have been avoided by using common sense and following the rules. No one is happy someone died from doing something stupid, but to point this stupid act out, especially to other children is a good lesson for them to prevent other kids from doing dumb things by not following the rules. No one deserves to die from an accident, but some accidents are out of your control and some are..like this.

betterme706
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betterme706 06/29/08 - 01:13 pm
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the real question is.....can

the real question is.....can u imagine somebody running to u and letting u know what just happened to your child?.....of all things who would honestly think to have to point out not to jump the fence? I highly doubt I would if it was my kid all I would do is probably blame myself for not doing something else that day or even walking with him and his friends he was hanging with there even though he was17 hey it seems like at 13 u get a time and place to meet at then let the kids go have fun! The question I have though is did he not see the ride getting close to himto where he might of been able to lay on the ground? ( the reason I ask is because its been about 10 yes since I was there and they didn't have this one? Its after the fact but I was wondering. My thoughts and prayers are with this family I could not and would not want to know the hurt they feel. I have 6 kids but they r still at the age they stay by Myside (ages 7yrs-11 mos). God be with this family through these times in the valley and on the hilltop. This is for parents who would never think about explaining to a child the dangers a sign warns of myself included.

FallingLeaves
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FallingLeaves 06/29/08 - 02:56 pm
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His name is Asia. At least

His name is Asia. At least they said he was a 17 year old boy from Springfield, SC.

FallingLeaves
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FallingLeaves 06/29/08 - 02:57 pm
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Asia Leeshawn Ferguson.

Asia Leeshawn Ferguson.

Mother in Austell Ga
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Mother in Austell Ga 06/29/08 - 03:02 pm
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To: Master "Asia Leeshawn

To: Master "Asia Leeshawn Ferguson's" family, YOU have my heartfelt sympathy in the losss of you beautiful child. God makes no mistakes.

God called "Asia" to call "attention" to the lack of safety and security at Six Flags over Ga. Austell.

I live in Austell of Six Flags Drive and I don't let my kids go there at all! Those so called "Warning signs are so small they look like no smoking signs. A teen was beat half to death and put into a coma last summer at Six Flags. Security and Safety are not a concern for management there, just revenue.

This kid should not have had to give his life. Those signs aren't clearly visible during the day or at night.

Childlren don't have judgement. But had those signs been larger, light the size of a poster a child would use for a school project and posted an inch a part in multiple pairs it would have deferred this kid's actions and made him think!

God will get the Glory in this story and Master Asia's death won't be in vain. Rest in Peace Son!

May all of the readers pray for our children, Danger can be anywhere, A 14 year old was killed here last week when a drunk driver plowed through his home, as he was sleeping. in bed.

silentwings
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silentwings 06/29/08 - 03:08 pm
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Two six foot fences, warning

Two six foot fences, warning signs, off limit signs, we are not talking about a child here. We are talking about a 17 yr old. Assuming he could read, their is no cure for stupid, mother in austell! My condolences to his family!

Mother in Austell Ga
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Mother in Austell Ga 06/29/08 - 03:34 pm
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To Silent Wings: You must

To Silent Wings: You must have never been to Six Flags Austell or any other park. Take a look at the photos of the warning signs in the photo gallery at the AJC.com

Oh yeah there were no warning signs for the teen killed in his bed in his home, Just some stupid adult driving drunk driving a F250 monster truck through one end of his home to the other dragging him out of his bed pinning him into his sisters bedroom to be cut out for hours by rescue teams.

Lets see Silent Wings, Adults vs. Kids, Adult know right from wrong. Kids sometimes forget while having mad fun!
Kids go to bed, adults drunk plows throuhg home. Security watch beating of teen at six flags no one arrested for weeks.

You are cleary crazy to think that child is at fault when a business that size catering to kids and famileis don't have every possible hazard cover and then some.

Those fences should be 20 ft high as the rided climbs 11 stories. What the hell happens if the ride malfunctions and snaps and people a hurt or killed after been thrown from the ride. You are really stupid. This park will come out with major renovations of signs. They will pay for the loss of life. A kid can the freeway

Mother in Austell Ga
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Mother in Austell Ga 06/29/08 - 03:37 pm
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More Silent Wings: A kid can

More Silent Wings: A kid can not jump the fence from the freeway onto the rollcoaster ride, they can walk over it. You are cleary crazy and stupid, what have you been drinking? Are you sitll flying? Dumb Wings should be your screen name. You have no comment. The Loss of life is the Park's Fault Fool.

RogerThornhill
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RogerThornhill 06/29/08 - 04:00 pm
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my sympathy goes out to the

my sympathy goes out to the people who were on the ride, they'll be in therapy for the rest of their days...

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