Guests worried after hearing loud bang on SWFL AG Expo roller coaster

Reporter: Jolena Esperto
Published: Updated:

The fair takes a scary turn when a roller coaster for kids suddenly stops with a loud bang.

It’s not the start that the Southwest Florida AG Expo wanted.

The ride owner told WINK News trim brakes are what caused the stopping.

He said that was normal, and nothing occurred out of the ordinary on Thursday night. At the SWFL AG Expo, people are enjoying the Galaxy Ride, but the Lee County spokesperson said she is aware of an occurring Thursday night.

However, nobody was transported by EMS to the hospital.

At first sight, it may look a bit scary. A video sent by a WINK News viewer on the Galaxy Ride at the Southwest Florida AG Expo from opening night on Thursday.

WINK News asked Richard Reithoffer, the man in charge of setting up the rides about what can be seen in the video. He said the stops that are seen in the video are the trim brakes and part of a completely normal process.

“It has trim brakes that touch the car as it goes around to slow it down. So it doesn’t go too fast on the curves. And around and around. It goes in the trim breaks just touching a little bit as it goes around. And then at the very end, it comes in here has a trim break here that stops before it goes into the station,” said Reithoffer.

The video shows the ride stopped for some time at the top. Reithoffer told WINK News he doesn’t believe any roller coaster cart got stuck on top, and it’s unlikely.

“At the most, it could bump into the other car, but it’s not a big deal. Okay, it’s not like, bam, no, not a BAM. And then it goes if it was a BAM, you know, it would bend the front bumper, any of that and ours are in perfect shape. They’ve never had that issue,” said Reithoffer.

He also explained the Florida Department of Agriculture inspected every ride between Monday and Thursday, before the fair opened. All was in the clear from the inspection. The county says FDACS is handling the incident Thursday night.

WINK News reached out to the person who sent the video and FDACS but haven’t heard back yet.

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