Man Dies After High Speed Roller Coaster Accident: 'Everyone on the Train Was Very Distraught'


A man who was struck last week by a roller coaster at an Ohio amusement park has died of his injuries.

WLWT-TV reported that the man, identified as Arntanaro Nelson, 38, of Wilmington, Ohio, died Friday at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

Nelson was reportedly hit Wednesday while he was trying to retrieve some keys he had lost while riding the ride, according to the TV news station.

A park employee said the guest entered a restricted area underneath the ride at the Kings Island amusement park in Mason, Ohio.

The impact made a frightening noise, according to a park worker, who said, “It was very ominous, and they were like, ‘Oh my God. What’s happening? What happened?'”

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“Me and a couple others went over to the station and we saw there was a body lying on the ground,” one employee told WLTW.

The occupants of the ride were also instantly aware something was amiss, a ride operator told WLTW.

“They were very distraught. Everyone on the train was very distraught because they knew something happened,” the employee said.

The customer had been extremely upset about the lost keys, said the employee.

Do you enjoy riding roller coasters?

“He wouldn’t stop exclaiming and yelling, like, ‘I need them right now.’

“He actually got back in line and unbeknownst to us at the time he entered through the gate.”

The clothing Nelson wore was similar to that worn by Kings Island employees, so some assumed he was a manager or worker, a witness told the Dayton Daily News.

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The man suffered massive head trauma in the impact from the coaster, which travels at a top speed of 68 miles per hour, according to WCMH-TV.

The ride has been in operation for 10 years, according to Dayton Daily News. It is billed as “the world’s longest steel-inverted roller coaster” at 4,124 feet.

The Banshee ride was closed after the accident pending an investigation into the incident, but reopened to riders Saturday.

An employee told WLTW the accident was a perfect example of why the park has fenced-off restricted areas.

“It’s extremely important that people listen to the warnings and signs at an amusement park. They are there for a reason.

“If you don’t listen to them, things like this are likely to happen, especially in the presence of intense and speedy rides like that,” a ride operator said.

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Lorri Wickenhauser has worked at news organizations in California and Arizona. She joined The Western Journal in 2021.
Lorri Wickenhauser has worked at news organizations in California and Arizona. She joined The Western Journal in 2021.