Ohio Department of Agriculture releases new information on Cedar Point ride investigation

By | August 24, 2021

REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio — The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) today provided a status update on its ongoing investigation into the occurrence at Cedar Point on August 15, 2021, in which a woman was seriously injured while standing in line for the Top Thrill Dragster ride.

ODA confirmed today that the investigation has determined that an L-shaped bracket, known as a flag plate, which was approximately the size of an adult male’s hand, dislodged from the left side of the ride’s green train car and struck the victim in the head. Upon inspection, it was determined that half of the bolts which secured the plate to the train body had also dislodged. The Top Thrill Dragster’s flag plates are used to communicate to the ride’s operating system that the car has passed a portion of the track. 

ODA inspectors also found that the brake bracket area of the track, which slows the cars at the end of each ride, showed signs of impact and deformation. Several horizontal track beams also showed signs of impact within approximately 25 feet of the damaged brake bracket.

“ODA takes very seriously the safety of all amusement rides in the state and is saddened by this tragic incident and the impact upon the victim,” said ODA Chief of Amusement Ride Safety David Miran. “We have spoken with her family to inform them of the status of the investigation, and we will continue to work to determine exactly how the flag plate dislodged.” 

ODA has sent the green train car to a laboratory which is examining the bolts that remain in the train body. Their report, which is not yet complete, is expected to provide more insight on how the flag plate may have dislodged. ODA also continues to investigate how the damage occurred to the track.

ODA has ordered the Top Thrill Dragster to cease operation during the course of the investigation and pending subsequent reinspection.