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Georgia Amusement Park Worker Dies

May 27, 2002

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AUSTELL, Ga. (AP) _ An amusement park worker was killed when he wandered into the path of an upside-down roller coaster and was struck in the head by a passenger’s dangling legs.

Officials at Six Flags Over Georgia were unsure how or why the 58-year-old foreman walked into the locked, no-access area on ``Batman, The Ride″ on Sunday. He was not immediately identified.

Six Flags General Manager John Odum said the foreman would not have had any reason to be in the area.

``All no-access areas are clearly marked and all employees are cautioned not to enter these areas at any time,″ said park spokeswoman Lisa Bigazzi-Tilt. ``It was very bad judgment.″

Passengers on the 50 mph roller coaster are strapped into seats that are attached to a track above them. The employee was struck by a 14-year-old girl whose legs were dangling from the front car.

She was hospitalized with leg injuries and released, authorities said.

The ride, which is 109 feet tall and has been open since 1997, was shut down Sunday for inspection by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration. It was deemed safe for passengers and reopened Monday.

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