Top Thrill Dragster roller coaster in Ohio, US permanently closed following serious accident

Friday, September 9, 2022

Top Thrill Dragster seen in 2009.
Image: Craig Lloyd.

On Tuesday, September 6, Cedar Point amusement park in Ohio, United States announced that Top Thrill Dragster, the second tallest-roller coaster in the world, has permanently closed. The ride was the first full-circuit strata coaster, a roller coaster exceeding a 400 feet (122 m) height limit, in the world.

Director of communications at Cedar Point, Tony Clark, released a statement that "after 19 seasons in operation ... the world's first strata coaster, Top Thrill Dragster ... is being retired."

The news comes after an accident on August 15, 2021, when an L-shaped bracket fell on the head of a guest in the queue line, causing a serious brain injury and leading to the closure of the attraction for the rest of the 2021 and 2022 seasons. The bracket was later identified as a sensor used to detect where the cars were on the track.

The park was cleared by Ohio officials in February 2022 of any wrong-doing or of having reason to believe that the ride was unsafe before operation. Prior to the August 2021 accident, two guest-related accidents occurred on the attraction.

Although the ride has been retired in its current form, park officials have stated that they are working on "creating a new and reimagined ride experience." It was not confirmed if it was the accident that led to the permanent closure of the attraction.