A Michigan woman who was waiting to ride Cedar Point's Top Thrill Dragster is fighting for life in the hospital after a piece of the ride fell and hit her in the head.
Rachel Hawes, 44, is reportedly suffering from a critical brain injury after the being clocked by a metal chunk reportedly about the size of a hand. Her family released the following statement to Cleveland TV station WOIO:
“We are devastated by last weekend’s accident at Cedar Point. We want to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers during this time. Rachel is fighting for her life, and we would ask for privacy in this difficult time.”
The incident occurred Aug. 15. An Ohio official offered the Beacon Journal the following explanation:
David Miran, the Ohio Department of Agriculture's chief of amusement rides, announced Monday the piece ... is an "L-shaped" bracket attached to the back of the train car...
The bracket, which was attached by bolts, is supposed to hover just over the track and a series of sensors that keeps tabs on the coaster as it makes its way at breakneck speed up and over a 420-foot hill in 17 seconds.
At some point in its descent, Miran said, the bracket came in contact with the coaster's track and ripped off from the "green" coaster train and struck the woman in the head while she was waiting in line.
The ride is temporarily closed.