Cedar Point ride where woman was critically injured to remain closed until 2022

Hani Barghouthi
The Detroit News

A Cedar Point ride will remain closed for the rest of the season as investigators review an incident involving a woman who was critically injured by a falling piece of metal near the ride, the park announced Thursday. 

Top Thrill Dragster will not run for the season while the amusement park and others in Sandusky, Ohio, look into the incident in which the woman was struck in the head by the object. 

Riders on the Top Thrill Dragster speed along Thursday May 1, 2003, at Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky Ohio.

Cedar Point will work alongside the Ohio Department of Agriculture's Division of Amusement Ride Safety & Fairs and investigators to "fully understand what happened and why," the company said in a statement on Twitter. 

"We will not rush the investigation and will work tirelessly in our search for answers in the interest of improving safety," the statement said.

The identity and condition of the woman remained unknown Thursday, but body-camera footage from emergency medical crews, on which her screams can be heard, shows the desperate attempts to help her after she was struck.

Sandusky 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 police 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.

This is not the first incident in the Top Thrill Dragster's 18-year history. In 2016, CBS Detroit reported that the ride was temporarily shut down after a cable line became detached from the ride.

In 2004, one year after the ride opened as the then-tallest rollercoaster in the world, the Toledo Blade reported that four people were injured while riding it after they were hit by flying metal piece and debris.

The ride was temporarily shut down then, rounding off a series of accidents that took place in roller coaster's inaugural year, including a loose cable and a faulty hydraulic valve in the first month, the Blade reported.