26 Years Ago, Girl Dies on Worlds of Fun Coaster & Few Noticed
Worlds of Fun in Kansas City has a reputation as one of the safest amusement parks in America and that's well-deserved. However, there was a tragedy over 26 years ago when a girl was killed on a coaster there and almost no one noticed.
It was June 30, 1995 when Ryan Bielby of Kansas City was killed in a fall from Timber Wolf as reported by The Spokesman Review. According to their story, Ryan was killed in a fall from Timber Wolf after a lap bar and restraints came loose somehow.
In the report of Ryan's death, one sentence struck me as being almost beyond belief:
When the train returned to the boarding area, few people realized something was wrong, said John Hudacek, vice president and general manager of the park.
How is that even possible?
As the World's of Fun website details, Timber Wolf is now an older coaster which debuted in 1989. It mentions that Timber Wolf has been reengineered now. There is now a lap bar and lap belt required to be secured before the ride begins. I can't confirm if the lap belt is new after the tragedy.
Timber Wolf debuted after my family's last visit to Kansas City. I remember riding the Orient Express which was at the time one of the wildest coasters in existence. Despite some malfunctions, no one was ever injured on that ride based on the history on Wikipedia.
This is a tragedy you rarely hear mentioned anymore which is sad to me considering so few even noticed when it first happened.