Get All Access for $5/mo

The World's Second-Tallest Roller Coaster Is Closing Forever After Woman Is Hit With Metal Debris Once the fastest coaster ever, the Top Thrill Dragster in Ohio is permanently grounded.

By Jonathan Small

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Cedar Point amusement park in Ohio announced that they would be closing Top Thrill Dragster. The roller coaster is the second-tallest in the world, towering at 420 feet.
On Tuesday, the park tweeted:

"After 19 seasons in operation with 18 million riders experiencing the world's first strata roller coaster, Top Thrill Dragster, as you know it, is being retired."

The move comes just over a year after a Michigan woman was hit in the head by a piece of metal that fell from the coaster. Rachel Hawes was standing in line for the ride when an L-shaped bracket attached to the back of the coaster's car dislodged. She survived the accident but was left with serious brain injuries.

After the accident, the state released a 620-page report finding no evidence that the park did anything illegal or that Top Thrill Dragster was unsafe. But the ride has remained closed since the accident.

A Storied History

Top Thrill Dragster opened in 2004 as the tallest roller coaster in the world. Cedar Point dubbed it a "strata coaster" for its extreme height. The coaster reached speeds of up to 120 mph, also making it the fastest coaster at the time.

But the record was shattered in 2005 when the Kingda Ka opened at Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey. King Kanda climbs to 456 feet and reaches speeds of 128 mph.

Jonathan Small

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® VIP

Founder, Write About Now Media

Jonathan Small is an award-winning author, journalist, producer, and podcast host. For 25 years, he has worked as a sought-after storyteller for top media companies such as The New York Times, Hearst, Entrepreneur, and Condé Nast. He has held executive roles at Glamour, Fitness, and Entrepreneur and regularly contributes to The New York Times, TV Guide, Cosmo, Details, Maxim, and Good Housekeeping. He is the former “Jake” advice columnist for Glamour magazine and the “Guy Guru” at Cosmo.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Business Solutions

Increase Productivity with This Microsoft 365 Subscription, Now $25 Off

It can make the entrepreneur life a lot easier.

Business News

Apple Pay Later Is Ending. Here's What's Taking Its Place.

The program was available for less than a year.

Leadership

This Artist Answered a Businessman's 'Powerful' Question — Then His Work Became 'the Poster Child for Juneteenth': 'Your Network Really Becomes Your Net Worth'

Reginald Adams was the executive director of a Houston-based art museum for more than a decade before he decided to launch his own public art and design firm.

Leadership

Harvard Business School Professor Says 65% of Startups Fail for One Reason. Here's How to Avoid It.

Team alignment isn't nice to have -- it's critical for running a successful business.

Business News

Here's What Companies Are Open and Closed on Juneteenth 2024

Since it became a holiday in 2021, Juneteenth has been recognized by some major corporations as a paid day off.

Growing a Business

I Hit $100 Million in Annual Revenue by Being More Transparent — Here Are the 3 Strategies That Helped Me Succeed

Three road-tested ways to be more transparent and build relationships that can transform your business — without leaving you feeling nightmarishly over-exposed.