Death on the Jack Rabbit

At 10:00 p.m Tuesday, July 16, 1963 a 16 year old New Castle P.A youth named Richard Dennis Nelson was killed on the Jack Rabbit roller coaster. Nelson was climbing in and out of the car on the Jack Rabbit and was killed before horrified on lookers. The boy was hurled from the front car as it made it's final dips and plunged four feet to the ground, he was pronounced dead at South Side Hospital in Youngstown. The Coroner said Nelson died of a fractured skull and dislocated neck, he ruled the death accidental and a result of Nelson's own actions. Witnesses said Nelson had unfastened his seat belt and was climbing in and out of the car and stood up on the the dips before being hurled to the ground. Nelson was thrown from the car and plunged through a hole in the tracks. No blood was found on either the tracks or the car. One of Nelson's friends who was riding with him reported that Nelson climbed out of the car and ran up the narrow catwalk beside the cars as they climbed the hill and that just as the car reached the top Nelson jumped back in the car. Nelson's friend also said that as the car went down the first dip, Nelson stood up again, holding onto the metal sheild, he then said Nelson was in the act of standing up again as the cars decsended another dip when the downward momentum hurled Nelson from the car.

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