MASON, Ohio (WWJ/AP) - An Ohio amusement park is selling off pieces of a troubled roller coaster that is now being torn down.
Kings Island, located in Mason, is selling plaques with a piece of track from the Son of Beast coaster for $99.99. Pieces of the wood structure are being offered for $49.99, and structural bolts for $24.99.
Son of Beast was the only wooden roller coaster nationally ranked in the top 10 for track height, track length, drop height and speed when it opened in May 2000. It was also the first and only (at the time) wooden roller coaster to feature a vertical loop.
Despite setting several world records, the ride was idled repeatedly.
It closed for nearly a year for reconstruction after a 2006 accident injured more than two dozen people. An investigation revealed that a structural failure, caused by a crack or split in the wood, created a bump on a particular part of the track that caused a train to come to an abrupt stop. Twenty-seven injuries were reported, none of which were life-threatening. The park brought in lighter trains and removed the ride’s loop during this time, saying the changes helped make the ride more comfortable.
The coaster closed again in 2009 after a woman claimed to have suffered a head injury on the ride. Park officials said the woman told them on June 16 that she suffered a burst blood vessel in her brain, after riding Son of Beast on a May 31 visit, that required admission to a local hospital’s intensive care unit. While park officials couldn’t confirm if the ride was responsible for the woman’s injuries, the coaster was shut down as a precaution.
An investigation followed and no irregularities were found with the ride. Despite the findings, the roller coaster remained closed and never reopened.
On July 27, 2012, Kings Island announced that Son of Beast would be removed from the park to make room for future expansion.Demolition began in mid-September and is expected to be completed by early 2013.
To order a plaque, call 513-754-5776 between the 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Kings Island is owned by Cedar Fair – the same company that owns and operates Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, and Michigan Adventures in Muskegon, as well as several other amusement and water parks across the U.S.
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