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Five-year-old injured on Coney Island children’s roller coaster

Serpent bite: Wonder Wheel Park co-owner Steven Vourderis exits the shuttered Sea Serpent ride after the Aug. 14 accident.
Photo by Arthur De Gaeta

A five-year-old boy suffered a severe leg injury after falling out of a small rollercoaster at Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park — and then having the cars roll over him.

The park said that the child wriggled out from under the restraining bar on the Sea Serpent ride at 7 pm and fell onto the tracks, where he then became stuck under the cars. Ride operators reported that the safety bar was locked, that the child exceeded the attraction’s height requirement, and was riding with his sister — and that they are working with city inspectors to find out exactly how the accident occurred.

“It’s unfortunate, a child was injured, and we’re still investigating along with the authorities,” said funzone co-owner Dennis Vourderis.

Vourderis said his team inspects all the rides at the park daily, and that the Sea Serpent has been in operation at the park for 15 years without any previous problems. But the People’s Playground mainstay did say he was open to adding new safety features to the ride based on the city’s recommendations.

“We need to reassure the public the rides are safe,” said Vourderis. “We’ve ridden hundreds of thousands of children and adults and we have not had an incident.”

Our sister publication the New York Post reported that the boy suffered lacerations on his face and leg, while his sister received treatment for minor injuries. Vourderis said he did not know if their family would seek legal damages.

The Sea Serpent is still closed as inspectors continue check the ride, but the rest of Wonder Wheel Park remains open.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at wbredderman@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at twitter.com/WillBredderman.

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