Adventureland to permanently close ride where 11-year-old boy died

Adventureland in Altoona is now permanently closing its Raging River ride, after being closed for over a year and a half since a deadly incident.
Published: Feb. 4, 2023 at 3:12 PM CST
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ALTOONA, Iowa (KCRG) - An amusement park ride that was involved in a fatal accident in the summer of 2021 will not reopen, according to park officials.

Adventureland made the announcement that the Raging River water ride would not return in an open letter from Bill Lentz, the park’s general manager. Lentz has been in charge of the facility since Palace Entertainment purchased it from the Krantz family, its original owners.

“We have decided to permanently close the Raging River attraction. The decision comes after months of examination of the ride, working closely with its manufacturer to identify what enhancements each would need to meet our operating standards,” Lentz said, in the statement. “Based upon that review, the best path forward is to close Raging River, and focus on enhancing the Adventureland experience elsewhere.”

Michael Jaramillo, 11, from the Cedar Rapids area, was killed in an incident on the ride in July 2021. The raft that the Jaramillo family was riding on flipped over, injuring three others. David Jaramillo, 16, spent over a month in a Des Moines hospital due to his injuries, initially being placed on life support.

The ride has been closed since the fatal incident.

The ride was also part of a 2016 incident that killed a 68-year-old park employee when they became wedged between one of its rafts and a concrete wall.

The Jaramillo family filed a lawsuit against Adventureland in June 2022, and a separate claim against the state of Iowa in September 2022. A trial for the suit against the park is scheduled for March 2024.