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Conductor in Fatal Amusement Park Accident Admitted Going Too Fast

By Orlando Personal Injury Attorney on April 2, 2011

The conductor of the train involved in a fatal amusement park accident admitted to a police officer that the train was going too fast at the time of the accident. The accident claimed the life of a six-year-old boy in Spartanburg, SC, and it caused 19 people to go to area hospitals for treatment for their injuries. Mr. Conrad, the conductor of the train, told police “he knew better than to drive the train that fast.”

The investigating officer, Spartanburg Public Safety Officer C. Robinson, released his report on the accident recently. He said, “Mr. Conrad stated multiple and various times throughout the time he was at Spartanburg Regional that he was going too fast. Mr. Conrad stated to me without being questioned or asked that he would go slow on the first lap, go a bit faster on the second lap, and it was on the third lap around the track when he ‘opened it up’ to go faster.”

The conductor also told Officer Robinson “he did not know how he was going to live with himself or how he could go on living.”

The train involved in the fatal crash is a miniature train that transported visitors around Cleveland Park, a children’s amusement park in Spartanburg. The investigation into the accident is still ongoing, and, while excessive speed has been cited as a contributing factor, investigators are looking into whether or not mechanical failure was also a contributing factor. Jerry Barber is a designer and contractor of miniature trains, and he has built them at children’s amusement parks around the world. He said that in the majority of cases where miniature trains derail and injure riders, excessive speed or erosion under the tracks is the cause.

“If I had to guess, I would say the more likely chance is it was going too fast,” Barber said. “But I don’t know that.”

When people go to amusement parks, they expect to receive some thrills and get their adrenaline pumping, but the danger is supposed to be simulated, not real. That’s especially true here in Orlando where we have lots of amusement parks with rides that are some of the steepest, fastest and scariest in the world. However, when operator error, poor maintenance or another kind of negligence leads to an accident, injured people and their families have a right to seek damages against the at-fault party. When this happens, they need an Orlando amusement park accident lawyer with the experience and resources to help them through this trying time. Have you been injured in an amusement park accident? Call Orlando amusement park accident attorney James O. Cunningham today at 888-425-2004 or 407-425-2000 to schedule a free consultation.

James O. Cunningham

Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.

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