Video: EMS body cam shows aftermath of woman hit by metal piece at Cedar Point

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News

Body-camera footage from emergency medical crews shows the desperate attempts to help after a woman was critically injured waiting in line for the Top Thrill Dragster ride at Cedar Point on Sunday. 

Witnesses at the park that day have said they hurried to the woman, whose cries can be heard on the video, after she was struck on the head by a piece that fell from a ride.

"I hopped over one of the railings where the cars shoot off ... I saw her and there were already other people who identified themselves as medical personnel there and I got on the ground with her and basically did everything I could until Sandusky EMS arrived,"  emergency room nurse David Vallo told WKYC (Channel 3) in Ohio.

The identity and condition of the woman, who was reportedly struck by a metal object in the back of the head, remained unknown Wednesday. 

One witness, a deputy with the Lorain County Sheriff's Office, explains on the video "we all saw it fly off." He couldn't determine what struck the woman after it fell "from the top of one of those things and shoved downwards," he says as as medical crews scramble to find equipment to help the woman.

A report by the Sandusky Police Department on the incident provided more details.

Police took the call about the incident at about 4:28 p.m. Sunday.

"I responded to the area along with Cedar Point Officers and EMS," a police officer wrote in the report. "I assisted in attempting to locate medical supplies being requested, and in taking a medical cot into the queue lines to the injured female party."

"Park guests along with CP (Cedar Point) EMS were rendering aide and moved the female to the cot, as SFD personal arrived and took over medical care."

The woman was moved to an ambulance waiting at the park's midway in front of the ride entrance before being taken to a hospital emergency room, the report said.

An Ohio Department of Agriculture inspector was at the site immediately after being notified about the accident Sunday afternoon involving the Top Thrill Dragster, it said. The agency oversees inspections of amusement park rides. 

Two agriculture inspectors were joined by the ODA's Chief of Amusement Ride Safety and enforcement agents at the scene Monday for an investigation that remains ongoing, spokeswoman Katie Boyer said in an emailed statement Wednesday. 

"The last inspection of the Top Thrill Dragster was completed on May 14, 2021 by four ODA inspectors ... this ride is required to be inspected twice a year," said Boyer. "The second inspection for the Top Thrill Dragster for this year was planned for September."

Cedar Point officials said the park's Top Thrill Dragster is closed while they investigate an incident in which a woman in line for the ride Sunday was struck by a small metal object that dislodge from one of the attraction's train cars.

The incident happened after a small metal object became disengaged from a train on the roller coaster as it was ending its run.

"The object came into contact with a female guest waiting in line for the ride," park officials said in a statement Monday. The park's medics and Sandusky firefighters responded immediately, taking the woman to a hospital.

"At this time, our focus is on the guest and her family," the statement said. It also said there are no further updates.

Vallo, the ER nurse, told WKYC the woman was on the ground surrounded by people in line who said they were medical professionals by the time he got to her. 

"About 20 minutes after I got in line ... there was a lot of commotion, a lot of people started screaming, hopping the gates and running for the exit. And everybody was screaming that this woman was hurt," Vallo said.

cramirez@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @CharlesERamirez