The Most Dangerous Theme Park in History


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In Vernon Township, New Jersey, there once was a water park. It was called “Action Park,” though you may know it from being the subject of the documentary “Class Action Park.” 

Now fully defunct, Action Park was known for its poorly trained and often intoxicated staff, as well as its enormous safety problems that resulted in the deaths of six people. Here are the infamous fatalities of Action Park.

Image Credit: It’s History.

1. George Larsson Jr. (19)

Year of accident: 1980

Disaster first struck Action Park on the Alpine Slide. After riding the terrifying chair lift to the top of the mountain, you’d be sent flying down a huge, open-air slide on a tiny little “car.”

Because people had no way of controlling their speed on this ride, 19-year-old George Larsson Jr. went careening off the Alpine Slide and flew headfirst into a rock.

Image Credit: Alpine Slide chair lift at Action Park by Joe Shlabotnik (CC BY).

2. George Lopez (15)

Year of accident: 1982

Most wave pools at theme parks have waves that go for about five minutes at a time. This is tiring enough on its own. Action Park? Their wave pools went for a whopping 20 minutes, which could easily exhaust anybody, even very experienced swimmers.

You’d think Action Park would have closed the Tidal Wave Pool after a 15-year-old kid drowned, but nope. This marks only the first death of the gruesome attraction that would later earn a fitting nickname: The Grave Pool.

Image Credit: It’s History.

3. Jeffrey Nathan (27)

Year of accident: 1982

This place was like something out of a “Final Destination” movie. The Kayak Experience at Action Park was a lot more dangerous than it sounds. The idea was to create a white water rafting experience, where electric fans underneath the water would create waves and shake the kayaks.

One fateful day, Jeffrey Nathan got thrown out of his kayak, which was an incredibly common occurrence on this ride. Unfortunately he stepped on some live wiring and was electrocuted into cardiac arrest.

Image Credit: It’s History.

4. Unnamed Visitor

 Year of accident: 1984

Cold Water shock is a serious danger, and can be wildly disorienting. After spending a day in the other areas of the park where the water was about 70 degrees and typical of a standard swimming pool, the water underneath the Tarzan Swing was usually about 50.

One unnamed visitor suffered a fatal heart attack in 1984, most likely caused by the cold water shock from the water under the swing.

Image Credit: Tarzan Swing at Action Park by Joe Shlabotnik (CC BY).

5. Donald DePasse (20)

Year of accident: 1984

The Grave Pool claimed another victim in 1984, even at the age of 20. Did Action Park close the attraction after this? Nope.

Image Credit: It’s History.

6. Gregory Grandchamps (18)

Year of accident: 1987

And then another 18-year-old, three years later. Action Park finally closed for good in 1996. 

You’d think it would have happened 16 years earlier, when that first person died. 

This story was produced and syndicated by MediaFeed.

Image Credit: It’s History.

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