Man Records Frightening Video of This Park Ride

Clip shows now-shuttered roller coaster at North Carolina's Carowinds with crack in support beam
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 3, 2023 8:38 AM CDT
Updated Jul 8, 2023 1:10 PM CDT

A popular roller coaster at a North Carolina amusement park has been shut down indefinitely after a patron in the parking lot spotted something terrifying. Carowinds, located in Charlotte, said in a Sunday statement that its Fury 325 ride—billed on its site as the "tallest, fastest, longest giga coaster in North America"—is now undergoing a "thorough inspection" after Jeremy Wagner posted video online showing a noticeable crack in one of the roller coaster's steel support pillars. Wagner, a former paramedic who tells WBTV he was in the Carowinds parking lot on Friday waiting to pick up his kids when he noticed the crack, notes that you can see the broken beam move 2 to 4 feet as a roller coaster car filled with passengers zooms past, per NBC News (take a closer look here).

"I was trying to shoot the video, and my hands were shaking because I knew how quick this could be catastrophic," he tells the New York Times, adding that his 14-year-old daughter had gone on the 325-foot-high roller coaster eight times that day. Wagner says he notified park officials of what he'd witnessed, and the park says it closed the ride Friday after they were made aware of the issue; the rest of the park remained open over the weekend.

The park also noted that all the rides in the park go through "daily inspections to ensure their proper functioning and structural integrity." The North Carolina Department of Labor says that its Elevator and Amusement Device Bureau will be handling the inspection, per WCNC. But another regular parkgoer, Tiffany Collins Newton, posted a photo on Facebook Saturday that she says she took on June 24, showing the crack in the coaster just starting to form, per the Charlotte Observer.

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"I've always took photos from the parking lot of the skyline," she writes in her post. "I decided to look back and see if the crack was visible last week ... well, it was." It's not clear how long the ride will be closed. WCNC notes that Fury 325 had some issues in 2015, when passenger cars started coming to unexpected stops at the top of one of the ride's steepest plummets. A park spokeswoman said at the time that the problem was caused by a safety sensor that had detected water. (Read more roller coasters stories.)

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