Death on the Wildcat

At 10:30 p:m on Monday August 23, 1948 a 20 year old Salem man fell from one of the highpoints of the the Idora Wildcat. Godfrey Dinkleman was pronounced dead on arrival at South Side Hospital in Youngstown, Ohio. The cause of death was listed as multipile fractures, including a fractured skull. Dinkleman and two friends were riding the Wildcat in seperate cars on the last section of the rollercoaster train. Dinkleman was in the middle with his friend Carl Gartner behind him and his other friend Norman Smith in front. They took several rides and when they came in from the last ride, Dinkleman wasn't in his seat. Gartner told police that during the ride he had "gritted his teeth and closed his eyes" and didn't know anything had happened till the ride stopped. Park authorities immedietly began searching for Dinkleman. The body was discovered on the ground among the structures wooden supports, police and workmen had to lift the badly broken body over the timbers to get it to the ambulance. The bodies postion indicated that Dinkleman had fallen from the top of one of the coasters dips. The point where Dinkleman fell from was about 40 feet up. This was the first (and only) death on the Wildcat. It was reported after an investigation that the 3 boys were sitting crosswise in their seats instead of facing forward with their legs under the saftey bar. They had been warned to sit forward and did complie until the train had gone through the first tunnel and up the chain lift, then Dinkleman put his feet over the safety bar, it was also reported from other passengars that Dinkleman apparently was standing as the car hit the second dip called the "airplane curve". The blood stains and scraped paint indicate that Dinkleman was dragged from the car and his body dropped to the ground. One of his shoes was found at the top of the dip, the other on the ground below.

Make your own free website on