American teacher killed by roller coaster 'was looking for his wallet and phone'

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 16 August, 2015, 10:51pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 16 August, 2015, 10:51pm


Family members do not know why an Ohio man struck and killed by a roller coaster after climbing over a security fence would have risked injury to retrieve belongings he lost while he was on the ride.

James Young was killed at Cedar Point amusement park when a car from its Raptor coaster - or one of the passengers - struck him after he entered a restricted area to pick up his wallet and phone.

The Raptor, when it opened in 1994, was reportedly the world's longest, tallest inverted roller coaster. Able to reach speeds of about 92km/h and featuring something called a "cobra roll," it was also the fastest.

"He wasn't someone who would normally disobey the law," said Young's aunt, Deborah Mohr.

Mohr said her tall nephew likely thought it easy to scale the fence, get his belongings, then climb back into the public area.

Young, 45, of East Canton, was single and had recently accepted an offer to become a high school guidance counsellor. He had gone to Cedar Point with friends.

A Cedar Point spokesman said the ride resumed operations on Friday after it was found to be safe. The spokesman wouldn't comment on whether any changes were being considered to the Raptor.

Additional reporting by Washington Post