Eureka, MO Roller Coaster Accident, July 1984


Eureka, Mo. (UPI) -- The husband of a woman flung 20 feet to her death from a new stand-up roller coaster said his wife had no medical problems and did not faint prior to the accident as amusement park officials suggested.
"That's not true, not right," CARL HOLCOMB said Sunday.
"That car was just like a whip," he said. "It jerked real bad when we came around that curve and she just flipped out."
HOLCOMB'S wife, STELLA, 46, was killed Saturday night when she fell from the Rail Blazer Ride at Six Flags over Mid-America Park, about 20 miles west of St. Louis.
"I had ahold of her hand when she left me," HOLCOMB said. "I was there. She liked to pulled me out" with her.
The Rail Blazer, the third of its kind in the nation, and an adjacent ride were closed pending an investigation, which was expected to be completed by the end of the week.
Park officials suggested MRS. HOLCOMB had fainted, but HOLCOMB said his wife had no history of medical problems, including fainting, and was not bothered by amusement park rides.
Results of an autopsy performed Sunday at St. Louis County Hospital were expected to be released today.
"The reason we just speculated that she lost consciousness is that is the only way that we could fathom that she could fall out of the safety restraints," said Six Flags spokeswoman Laurie Odum.
"The safety restraints are designed to hold someone into place if they should pass out," she added.
Mrs. Odum said the restraints were still locked securely when the car returned without MRS. HOLCOMB.
The HOLCOMBS were riding in the last two positions of the last car, just behind their 13-year-old daughter, BERNIECE, and her 16-year-old boyfriend.
The Indianapolis family was returning home from a trip to the Meramec Caverns in central Missouri when they stopped at Six Flags.
MRS. HOLCOMB'S two sons, CLARENCE and KARL REYNOLDS, 18 and 19, were not along for the trip.
Just two hours after the accident, reporters were to have ridden the Blazer as part of a media party showcasing the new attraction. They were summoned from dinner at a park restaurant and told of the death.
The Six Flags ride was manufactured by Arrow Huss of Clearfield, Utah, which also made the stand-up roller coaster at Worlds of Fun amusement park in Kansas City.

Logansport Pharos Tribune Indiana 1984-07-09