VALENCIA (CBSLA.com) — A 19-year-old man was transported to a hospital Sunday after falling off a very steep water slide at Six Flags Hurricane Harbor.
According to a park spokesperson, the rider pushed his way through the line at Black Snake Summit and stepped onto the Venom Drop slide, without having been cleared by lifeguards. He allegedly went down head first when riders are always instructed to go down feet first, with ankles crossed and arms placed across the chest, spokesperson Sue Carpenter said.
The rider fell off Venom Drop while he was halfway down, Carpenter said.
Los Angeles County Fire officials said they responded to call at 4:19 p.m. and the man was transported 25 minutes later to Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital.
Officials did not release the man’s name.
According to the Six Flags website, Venom Drop is one of three slides at Black Snake Summit. It is the tallest enclosed water slide in California and has riders “take a virtually vertical plunge, almost 90 degrees to the ground.”
CBS2 and KCAL9 reporter Bobby Kaple said portions of the park were shut down for a time as officials investigated the accident.
Kaple also spoke to two other park goers who witnessed the man’s fall.
Robert Shank said, “Everyone in line for the ride saw the fall take place.” He added, “The guy was going down head first. He was taking a chance.”
Said Brandon Clark, “I heard the guy who was falling yell and the woman who was working the ride, I heard her also yell, ‘Oh my gosh!’
The LA County Sheriff’s department told Kaple it was miraculous that the man survived. The man had no broken bones or internal injuries.