posted on July 09, 2011 13:38
UPDATE (3:25pm) by Geoff Redick:
Darien Lake officials released a new statement to news media at approximately 3:25pm today, offering no new information regarding a Friday afternoon accident on the park's "Ride of Steel" rollercoaster.
The new release includes a statement from Darien Lake General Manager Christopher Thorpe (below):
“On behalf of Darien Lake, I wish to express our sincere condolences to the family and friends of U.S. Army veteran James Thomas Hackemer. We are all brokenhearted by this tragic accident and will continue our support of both the family and the investigation.”
Park officials say they "expect to provide further information, in partnership with appropriate agencies, once the investigation has been completed." There is no timeline for a completed investigation.
Additionally, anyone who witnessed the accident is asked to call the theme park at 585-599-5120.
ORIGINAL REPORT (1:45pm)
Officials for Darien Lake Theme Park today declined further comment on yesterday's horrific accident, in which a double-amputee Iraq War veteran was killed after falling off of "The Ride of Steel" rollercoaster.
29-year-old James Hackemer died after sustaining fatal injuries in the incident. The Genesee County Sheriff's Department confirmed last night that Hackemer had lost both of his legs in Iraq, and was ejected from the rollercoaster, which has only hip-based restraints.
The park's Director of Marketing, Linda Taylor, told members of the media this afternoon that a news release containing "further information" pursuant to the investigation will be forthcoming at approximately 3:00pm.
Genesee County Sheriff's Investigators and members of the New York State Department of Labor have been on-scene this morning, continuing to investigate and interview park employees and witnesses.
More information as it becomes available. Check back with WBTAi.com later this afternoon.