Fun Turns Tragic at Georgia Amusement Park

May 28, 2002
A fun day at an amusement park for thousands turned deadly for one worker at Six Flags over Georgia Sunday.

Samuel Milton Guyton, 58, was standing in a restricted area when he was struck by the leg of a teenage girl riding in the front seat of the "Batman the Ride" roller coaster. The blow caused Guyton to go into heart failure, and despite attempts to revive him by park employees and emergency responders, he was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

The popular ride, which reaches speeds up to 50 mph, was shut down while inspectors from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspected it. It reopened yesterday.

Witnesses say the Six Flags employee was in a restricted area underneath the coaster. Passengers on the ride are harnessed into seats with their legs dangling below them as the ride twists and turns along the track. The 14-year-old girl whose leg struck the man suffered a leg injury and was taken to Wellstar Cobb Hospital. A shoe lost by the girl hit a woman sitting behind her, who received minor injuries.

According to park officials, the employee had no reason to be in that area. Further, said Lisa Bigazzi-Tilt, a park spokeswoman, "All no-access areas are clearly marked and employees are cautioned not to enter them at any time."

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