Guest hit by Banshee roller coaster at Kings Island dies

Roller coaster track

MASON, Ohio — A park guest was hit by the Banshee, a roller coaster at Kings Island in Mason, Ohio.

Update 1:05 p.m. EDT June 24: The Hamilton County Coroner’s Office said the park guest died on Friday, according to WXIX.

The park guest was identified as Arntanaro Nelson, 38, according to The Associated Press. His death was listed as a “suspected accident.”

Nelson’s death remains under investigation.

-- Jessica Goodman, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Original story: Witnesses told WXIX that the man who was not identified had climbed a fence to retrieve his keys that had fallen into a restricted area under the Banshee around 8 p.m. Wednesday.

Kings Island said the thrill ride is the world’s longest steel inverted roller coaster and opened in 2014.

A rider on the coaster, which reaches 68 mph and has seven inversions along its 4,124-foot-long track, said it sounded as if the car hit a deer, WCPO reported.

Mason police and fire crews said they were called to the scene after being told a man was “struck at 68 mph” and had a “traumatic injury,” the news station said.

The man was taken to a local hospital before being flown to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. Police told WCPO that the man was critically injured.

The ride is closed as the incident is investigated.

“Kings Island notified the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) of an incident Wednesday evening at the Banshee rollercoaster. ODA ride inspectors are on site today to conduct a full re-inspection of the ride and an investigation to ensure the ride was operating in accordance with Ohio’s law and rules,” Meghan Harshbarger, a spokesperson for the Ohio Department of Agriculture, told WXIX via email.

A park spokesperson said, “Kings Island’s focus continues to be on the welfare of the guest and his family,” WHIO reported.

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