A veteran of the United States Army age twenty nine was wounded by a roadside bomb in Iraq resulting in the lost of most of his right leg, lost his left leg and part of a hip, was killed Friday evening at Darien Lake Amusement Park near Buffalo, New York when he was ejected from a roller coaster. He was riding the Ride of Steel at an amusement park in upstate New York.
The roller coaster he was thrown from was a two hundred eight food tall ride. Sergeant James Thomas Hackemer had just returned to his parent’s home after many years of rehabilitation.
At this time, the roller coaster is being inspected to see if there was any type of malfunction to cause this tragic accident. It has been reported that the ride operators did not even question or object to him riding the ride or if it was even safe for him to do so with his amputations. There are two other roller coaster rides at this same park that will not let anyone ride that does not have both their legs for safety reasons. On the ride that he was thrown from there is a bar is put across their legs to hold them in their seat.
On the park’s website it does state that in order to ride the Ride of Steel that you had to be at least fifty four inches tall and that riders with “certain body proportions” may not be eligible to ride the tallest roller coaster in an amusement park that is east of the Mississippi River. This roller coaster can reach speeds in excess of seventy miles per hour.