An incident was reported from the Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster attraction last Monday after a rider was ejected from the cart.
The Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster is a 7-minute thrill ride that features a specially-designed silent track that transports riders through a forested mountain terrain. The coaster is able to obtain speeds of up to 35 miles per hour.
According to CNN, an accident report was filed with the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workplace Development.
The news outlet reports that the rider flew out of the cart while entering the curve just past the Kodak camera, struck the track and traveled approximately 10 feet out of the cart.
The unidentified rider was taken to the hospital with injuries to their wrist, ankle and head.
The ride was temporarily shut down immediately following the accident but has since reopened to the general public after getting the go-ahead from a third-party inspector.
TheSmokies.com has reached out for a full copy of the report and will update this article with additional details as they become available.
This is the attraction’s second documented ejection incident since 2016
This isn’t the first time the Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster has reported an ejection-related incident at their attraction.
In 2016, WVLT reported that a woman was ejected from a double ride sled.
According to the report, the woman was flung from the cart after entering the flagged area at full speed despite warnings to slow down. The woman was not wearing a safety restraint.
At that time, an independent inspector determined that there were no mechanical or operational issues with the ride. Employees were retrained on safety procedures following the incident.
The woman suffered several injuries including wrist fractures and trauma to her knees, ribs and head.
Are mountain coasters safe?
Roller coaster related injures and fatalities are relatively rare.
According to a study that looked at 20 years’ worth of data regarding roller coaster fatalities in the United States from from 1994-2004, there were only 40 reported fatalities in 39 separate incidents over the course of two decades.
And while one death is always too many, at an average of only four deaths per year nationwide, you have a better chance at winning the Tennessee Powerball than dying on a roller coaster in Gatlinburg, Tenn.
As always, at any attraction in the Smokies, it’s good practice to play by the rules, listen carefully to safety instructions and wear restraints on high-speed thrill rides when applicable.
At Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster, adult guests must be at least 56″ tall to ride and have a valid driver’s license. Children ages three and up must be at least 38″ tall and accompanied by an adult.
The Gatlinburg Mountain coaster asks that guests be aware of the following restrictions prior to purchasing a ticket:
- Adults are defined as riders 9 and older.
- Children are defined as riders from 3–9 years old.
- Children younger than 3 years old may not ride.
- Adult riders must be at least 56” tall, 16 or older, and have a valid driver’s license.
- Child riders must be at least 38” tall, 3 or older, and ride with a companion who is at least 56” tall, 16 or older and has a valid driver’s license.
- Maximum combined or single weight on a coaster must not exceed 375 lbs (or 330 lbs when the track is wet).
- For the safety of all guests, all guests must brake at the end of the track.
- The ride is not safe for women who are pregnant and will not be permitted to ride.
The Gatlinburg Mountain coaster is located at 306 Parkway, Gatlinburg TN 37738.