Looking forward to the future of journalism

After mishaps, Kiddie Park opens for business

Kiddie Park, the troubled children’s attraction that I wrote about in June, is under new ownership. Reporter Elizabeth Allen covered the reopening yesterday of the remodeled park. There’s also a neat slideshow by photographer Lisa Krantz of kids having a blast. The decades-old rollercoaster, which suffered structural failures on at least two occasions and knocked … Read more

KTSA’s Paul Alexander discusses thrill-ride injuries

Here’s a recording of my radio interview last week with KTSA’s Paul Alexander. We talked about a San Antonio Express-News investigation of the thrill ride industry, and how the public can check a little-known government database that tracks amusement ride injuries in Texas. The Express-News posted the injury data online for anyone interested in checking … Read more

What readers are saying about Kiddie Park

Kiddie Park in San Antonio reported several children were injured in ride mishaps
Kiddie Park in San Antonio reported several children were injured in ride mishaps

Many readers who commented about our story that examined ride malfunctions at Kiddie Park in San Antonio reflected on their love for the old park, and their hope that its woes can be addressed.

Here are a few examples:

Kiddie Park holds a special place in my heart, but I was fearful taking my children there in the 1980’s due to exposed moving parts, evidence of inadequate repairs, and minimal passenger restraints. Complete overhauls by the most competent professionals could never bring many of the antiquated attractions my father rode in the 1920’s and I rode in the 1950’s to modern safety standards. Good fortune alone has spared more serious injuries; I regret not acting as a concerned citizen to prevent the trauma that has been suffered by innocent children. — Alfred E. Neuman

Read more

Tracking the safety history of the Texas Giant at Six Flags Over Texas

Nice to see Brooks Egerton at the Dallas Morning News used our new database of amusement ride injuries to check the safety record of the Texas Giant rollercoaster at Six Flags Over Texas. In his blog post today, Egerton discussed how the Texas Giant is closed and he was quickly able to check whether people … Read more

The troubled history of the Rattler at Six Flags Fiesta Texas

This archived story was posted online for our investigation of the thrill ride industry, and it links to internal documents at Fiesta Texas. The documents reveal how park officials were still working out the kinks of the flagship wooden rollercoaster, the Rattler, after the park’s grand opening in 1992. They tracked hundreds of injuries that … Read more

Theme park injuries go unreported

Ten years ago (wow, I’m getting old) I wrote a series of stories about the safety record of San Antonio’s major theme parks — Six Flags Fiesta Texas, SeaWorld San Antonio, and Splashtown. I learned state officials keep a little-known database that tracks amusement-ride injuries in Texas. The database isn’t perfect. The injuries are self-reported … Read more

Texas database tracks theme-park injuries

You can check the safety record of Texas theme parks and carnivals by searching a unique database of 1,800 reports detailing broken bones, chipped teeth and other injuries. Officials at the Texas Department of Insurance collect injury reports from amusement ride owners and type the information into a database. We obtained a copy of the … Read more