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Death after Coney Island Cyclone Ride
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Deutschland . NW
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Link zum Beitrag #473501 Verfasst am Dienstag, 11. September 2007 20:48
Zitat September 10, 2007 -- An accident on Coney Island’s famously rickety Cyclone roller coaster is the stuff of nightmares, but most people think they never happen. Think again.
A tourist broke his neck aboard the 80-year-old coaster and died from complications stemming from his injury, his family says.

Keith Shirasawa, a musician from Redwood City, Calif., had come to New York with his girlfriend, Linda Walker, to celebrate his 53rd birthday in July.

On July 31, he and Walker took a trip to Coney Island. While Walker chose to sit the ride out, Shirasawa eagerly boarded.

“He said he knew he was in trouble at the first drop,” said his sister, Aya Masada.

Shirasawa’s head snapped forward during the ride’s first 85-foot drop.

“He came out and had a look of pain on his face and was holding his neck. I asked him what was wrong, and he said something happened, and he had lost the feeling in his fingers,” Walker said.

When he began losing sensation in his legs, she urged a foodstall worker to call 911.

Cyclone operators were not alerted, and a report of an accident was never filed with police or the city Building’s Department, said Joe Carella, a spokesman for Astroland, which owns the ride.

EMTs rushed Shirasawa to Coney Island Hospital, where doctors found he had fractured three vertebrae in his neck and would require emergency neurosurgery, Walker said. Shirasawa underwent the operation to fuse the bones in his neck on Aug. 2 at SUNY Downstate Hospital.

Shirasawa, who, his family said, had been in excellent health, died Aug. 4. The city Medical Examiner’s Office has yet to rule on the cause of death.

“He came out of the surgery very well. He was walking around, and then the next day, he was dead,” Masada said. “You had a 53-year-old, healthy male who was doing very well after surgery.”

Walker said the Cyclone owners questioned whether the injury occurred on the ride when contacted by the family’s lawyer.

“All we’ve heard was that somebody got hurt,” said owner Carol Albert. “We tried finding out any information, and we had no record of this person.”

Masada said the family would await the results of an autopsy before deciding whether to sue. “I don’t have much to base his death on,” she said. “I just want people to know someone got hurt.”

Additional reporting by Joe Mollica cyclone_riders_killer_thriller.htm
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