Kiddie Park

  • After mishaps, Kiddie Park opens for business

    Kiddie Park in San Antonio reported several children were injured in ride mishaps
    Kiddie Park in San Antonio reported several children were injured in ride mishaps

    Kiddie Park, the troubled children’s attraction that I wrote about in June, is under new ownership. Reporter Elizabeth Allen covered the reopening yesterday of the remodeled park. There’s also a neat slideshow by photographer Lisa Krantz of kids having a blast.

    The decades-old rollercoaster, which suffered structural failures on at least two occasions and knocked a boy’s teeth out in 2004, has been sold for scrap metal.

    My stories about Kiddie Park and other theme parks in San Antonio were based on a database of ride injuries reported to the Texas Department of Insurance. The Express-News posted the data online, so everyone can look up the safety record of any carnival or theme park in Texas.

  • What readers are saying about Kiddie Park

    Kiddie Park in San Antonio reported several children were injured in ride mishaps
    Kiddie Park in San Antonio reported several children were injured in ride mishaps

    Many readers who commented about our story that examined ride malfunctions at Kiddie Park in San Antonio reflected on their love for the old park, and their hope that its woes can be addressed.

    Here are a few examples:

    Kiddie Park holds a special place in my heart, but I was fearful taking my children there in the 1980’s due to exposed moving parts, evidence of inadequate repairs, and minimal passenger restraints. Complete overhauls by the most competent professionals could never bring many of the antiquated attractions my father rode in the 1920’s and I rode in the 1950’s to modern safety standards. Good fortune alone has spared more serious injuries; I regret not acting as a concerned citizen to prevent the trauma that has been suffered by innocent children. — Alfred E. Neuman

    (more…)

  • Message from Holden’s Mom: Thanks

    kiddieparkpageI just got off the phone with Tammy Haby, who I interviewed for this story about the safety record of Kiddie Park. Haby’s son, Holden, had his teeth knocked out in a rollercoaster accident at the old park.

    “Thank you for bringing this all to light and sharing it with everybody,” Tammy said. “We appreciate it.”

    Express-News photographer Helen Montoya and I visited the Haby family and I also interviewed Tammy several times over the phone. The family was willing to share their story because it was a very scary incident and they didn’t want the same thing to happen to others.

    Tammy admitted she had some initial reservations talking with a reporter when I first called their house.

    “Celebrities, they’re always saying, ‘Well, they took my words out of context.'” Tammy said of the media. So it was nice to hear that the experience was positive for both her and Holden, who was excited to see his picture on the front page of the newspaper.

    “It was very professional, and I just really appreciate that,” said Tammy, who said she was happy to let me quote her on my blog.

    There was a time when the memories of the accident were so raw that they couldn’t talk about it. Today, they felt comfortable sharing their story. And I think this is why the media can play such an important role in people’s lives. The reason why we come knocking on people’s doors is because these stories matter.

    So thanks, Tammy and Holden, for letting me share your story.

  • Mishaps mar Kiddie Park memories

    Kiddie Park in San Antonio reported several children were injured in ride mishaps
    Kiddie Park in San Antonio reported several children were injured in ride mishaps

    Our second story about the safety record of amusement parks in Texas focused on Kiddie Park, a San Antonio landmark that opened in 1925 but has fallen on tough times. In at least three incidents, the park’s aging rides malfunctioned or broke with scared children on board. One 6-year-old boy knocked his teeth out in a rollercoaster accident.