The opening of a popular ride at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk has been delayed, and it's still unclear when it will re-open.
The Fireball ride was shut down last year following a malfunction on a sister ride at a park in Ohio, which left seven people injured, and 18-year old Tyler Jarell dead. The ride features a spinning extended arm, and sends people spiraling through the air. The repairs to the ride are complete according to park officials, and there have also been some exciting upgrades.
“We inspected the entire ride. We had an ultrasonic test to the ride to see the rides integrity. It passed those tests, but we went back in and it was an opportunity for us to get the newest gondolas and make the ride something even better,” said Marq Lipton Vice President of Marketing at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.
The fatality on the ride in Ohio likely stemmed from excessive corrosion inside the gondola support beam of the ride, according to officials. So, a comprehensive update to the now 15-year old ride in Santa Cruz was likely needed. Some Boardwalk visitors say they miss the park's staple.
"It was really fun because when you would go up, it would turn you around and you would think you were going down and you were going up again," said a member of the Fox family, who was visiting the Boardwalk.
At least one parent says she's not afraid to let her young ones back on the ride once it's reopened.
"I know there's a lot of security measures, checks and inspections. So we go to places we trust," said one member of the Fox family.
There hasn't been word yet on when the ride will open back up, but maintenance is complete. As of now, park officials say they're just waiting on approval from the state.
Some people may still be afraid to ride the Fireball once it's back open, but park officials in Santa Cruz want to assure the public that they are taking every precaution before allowing people back on the ride. That includes following California's strict and sometimes lengthy amusement ride approval process.