Riders Stranded on Invertigo Coaster for Hours

Riders Stranded on Invertigo at California’s Great America
Yesterday, 24 riders found themselves stuck on Invertigo at California’s Great America (Santa Clara, CA) for over four hours. The inverted shuttle coaster features trains fixed below the ride’s steel track.Riders Stranded on Invertigo Roller Coaster at Great America

The ride begins with the 28 passenger train being pulled up out of the back of the station and into the ride’s 131′ lift hill. At around 1:30 in the afternoon, the train came to a halt about half way up the lift hill. The train was between 40 and 80 feet in the air. Rescue crews were called in and they lowered the riders one at a time into buckets at the end of aerial ladders. The last of the stranded riders was rescued just before 6:00 PM.

While I don’t think the riders were in any real danger, they didn’t seem to know that.

“It was frightening. It was scary,” 14-year-old Dennis Espinoza, of San Lorenzo, told the Mercury News newspaper. “We thought we were going to die.”

It would be horrific to be that scared for four long, torturous hours. I hope Great America is going to do something for these folks to compensate them for their distress. Here’s a video from a local news outlet on the accident:

Are Invertigo Roller Coasters Safe?
Similar incidents have happened on Six Flags America’s accident plagued Two Face coaster which is a clone of Invertigo. Last winter, Six Flags finally sold Two Face. Maybe, California’s Great America ought to consider the same. Kings Island is the only other American park with an Invertigo clone. The ride seems like pretty simple technology, but obviously the Vekoma Invertigo coaster is a problem proned model.

What’s Your Take?
Have you ridden Invertigo at California’s Great America? What do you think of this coaster accident? Leave a comment below. Photo Credit: Associated Press