38-year-old man dies after being hit by Banshee at Kings Island

banshee ride kings island
Kings Island
Posted at 10:52 PM, Jun 19, 2024

MASON, Ohio — The man who was hit by the Banshee roller coaster Wednesday night has died.

The coroner has identified the man as 38-year-old Arntanaro Nelson.

In a statement, Kings Island said Nelson entered a restricted, fenced area at the Banshee around 8 p.m. and was "believed to have been struck by the ride."

A witness said Nelson told a greeter at the Banshee ride that he needed to get back on the ride because he lost something. A worker told him there was nothing they could do until the ride closed.

According to the witness, Nelson continued to wander near the ride and eventually went through a restricted gate. Nelson was dressed similarly to Kings Island employees so some assumed he was a manager or worker, the witness said.

Mason police said Thursday that Nelson had been trying to retrieve his lost keys.

The witnesses said a person riding in the front row told them it sounded like they hit a deer at the time of the accident.

Nelson was taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

Chad Showalter, the Director of Communications for Kings Island, told us no other injuries were reported.

"Kings Island’s focus continues to be on the welfare of the guest and his family," the park said.

Police: 38-year-old man critically injured after believed to be hit by roller coaster

The Ohio Department of Agriculture's Division of Amusement Ride Safety & Fairs was contacted Wednesday evening by Kings Island; ride inspectors from the department were on-site Thursday to examine the ride.

ODA said its inspectors were there to "conduct a full re-inspection for the ride and an investigation to ensure the ride was operating within Ohio's laws and rules."

The Banshee reopened to riders Saturday morning, according to Kings Island officials.

Showalter sent us the following statement:

“We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Arntanaro Nelson, the guest involved in the incident at Banshee on Wednesday, June 19. Our continued prayers are with his family and friends during this very difficult time. The Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Division of Amusement Ride Safety & Fairs completed its inspection of Banshee last week, and the ride re-opened Saturday morning. Further questions about the inspection process can be directed to the Ohio Department of Agriculture.”
Chad Showalter, the Director of Communications for Kings Island

If you walk into Kings Island, immediately turn left and walk to the edge, you will find the Banshee near the "xtreme skyflyer.'

The ride opened in April 2014 and Kings Island said it is 4,124 feet long with seven inversions and is "the world's longest steel-inverted roller coaster."

The ride is three minutes long and can go up to 68 miles per hour.

The Banshee features the following:

  • 167-foot lift hill
  • 150-foot curved first drop
  • Dive loop
  • Vertical loop
  • Zero-gravity roll
  • Pair of batwing inversions
  • Outside loop
  • Spiral
  • In-line roll
  • Carousel

"As a result of the natural terrain underneath Banshee, riders experience an elevation change of 208 feet from the highest point of the ride – the 167-foot tall lift hill – and the lowest point with the batwing inversions," according to the Kings Island website. "The top speed of 68 mph is not reached until the midway point of the ride rather than the first drop as riders experience on most other roller coasters."

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