NH employee seriously injured in Santa’s Village roller coaster crash

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“Something happened that caused this operator to come out on this platform in a unique way that normally wouldn’t.”

Light display around Humbug Pond at Santa’s Village in Jefferson, New Hampshire. Santa Claus Village

A 51-year-old roller coaster operator at a popular New Hampshire theme park was seriously injured on Saturday after falling from the ride’s platform while in motion.

The man was transported from Santa’s Village, a Christmas-themed amusement park in Jefferson, New Hampshire, to a local hospital, authorities said. The state fire marshal confirmed the victim remained in the hospital Sunday evening.

A roller coaster car on the Poogee Penguins Spin Out Coaster hit the ride operator, who fell six to eight feet to the ground, WMUR reported. They were also told that the 51-year-old worker was the only operator and was well trained.

Fire Marshal Sean Toomey told WMUR that park guests were on the roller coaster at the time of the crash, but none were injured.

The Office of the Fire Marshal was contacted by the park on Saturday and is currently investigating the incident. Tram and ride safety investigators are also involved in the investigation.

The fire marshal noted that in New Hampshire, all mechanical rides must be inspected by the Division of Fire Safety at least once a year and registered before use. The state trolley inspector assessed the coaster on Saturday and approved it for operation, but the coaster remained closed on Sunday.

“The ride remains safe,” Toomey told WMUR. “Something happened that caused this operator to come out on this platform in a unique way, which normally wouldn’t be the case. We’ll do some follow-up to figure out why, but the track record of Santa’s Village, other state facilities, and the partnership with our inspectors provide a pleasant and safe environment for people visiting the parks.

Santa Claus Village remained open to the public on Sunday.

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