Who are owners of Adventureland Park Iowa? Boy, 11, dies as water ride raft overturns
A fun-filled day at the adventure park turned tragic for a couple of visitors at Adventureland Park at Altoona, Iowa. Michael Jaramillo, 11, was fatally injured after the raft he was on at the Raging River Ride at the park overturned. Another child was admitted to the hospital in critical condition. Four other passengers on the ride were also admitted to the hospital, of which three remain in critical condition and one sustained minor injuries.
Adventure park accidents are rare but they almost always turn out to be fatal. In March 2020, a 10-year-old girl was crushed to death after a 440lb wooden sculpture of a bear and a child came crashing upon her. The victim, Anna Zhdan, ended up with a broken skull and succumbed to her injuries at the hospital. There weren't many reported adventure park accidents last year but a water slide that led to 10-year-old Caleb Schwab's decapitation at the Kansas City Park in 2016 was finally torn down.
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Who owns Adventureland Park in Altoona, Iowa?
John F "Jack" Krantz founded Adventureland Park and Resort in 1974. He died aged 76 in October 2006 and since then the park has turned into a family-run business, controlled by Krantz's sons and daughters. "He built up a place that families all over would love, and up until the end he came into work happy every day because he loved it," Krantz's son and Adventureland's president, John Krantz had said. "My dad, to me, was larger than life," he added.
Adventureland includes an amusement park, a hotel that visitors can rent to stay at the property overnight, and a campground spread over 164 acres. Back in 2006, the park was being visited by over 550,000 people annually and the number rose to 600,000 in the past decade. The ride which caused the recent tragedy has been operational since 1983 and the company said they were cooperating with investigators to determine the cause. The accident took place at 7:30 pm on Saturday on the ride which uses conveyor belts to move circular rafts through riverlike rapids.
'Raging River Ride is safe,' says Adventureland's attorney
“Safety is the number one priority at Adventureland. The Raging River ride has been in operation for nearly four decades. It is a safe ride," Attorney Guy Cook who represents Adventureland in personal injury cases said. “Safety is the number one priority at Adventureland,” Cook wrote in a text message. “The Raging River ride has been in operation for nearly four decades. It is a safe ride.”
This despite the fact that the ride was not new to tragedy. In June 2016, seasonal employee Steve Booher, 68, along with another worker were jerked out of their feet. Booher fell on the conveyer belt, got wedged between a boat and a concrete sidewall. His head repeatedly rammed on the wall until the ride was shut down and he died in the hospital days later due to trauma to the brain and skull. According to a report, court records show Adventureland has been sued multiple times in recent years by people who were injured on the rides at the park.