Woman hit by metal object from Top Thrill Dragster identified, unclear why bracket disengaged from train

TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The Ohio Department of Agriculture gave an update Monday on the ongoing investigation into an incident at Cedar Point that injured a woman waiting in line for a ride.

According to ODA, 44-year-old Rachel Hawes was hospitalized after an “L-shaped” piece of metal disengaged from the Top Thrill Dragster, hitting her in the back of the head while she was in line for the roller coaster. Officials said Monday the piece of metal was approximately the size of an adult male’s hand.

ODA did not have an update on the woman’s condition but did say they spoke to the woman’s family today ahead of the briefing.

“We are terribly sorry for the woman and her family who endured this tragic event,” said David Miran, Chief of Amusement Ride Safety.

Officials said they have recovered the bracket but are not sure what may have caused it to come off from the track. An inspection showed half of the bolts holding the metal plate in place were missing, according to ODA.

Following the incident, the ride inspector issued a verbal stop operation order on the Top Thrill Dragster.

Officials said the last ODA inspection on the Top Thrill Dragster was in May but all rides go through a daily inspection at the park.

Cedar Point announced last week the ride will be closed for the rest of the 2021 season. The investigation is ongoing.

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