• Dozens stuck in air after Carowinds ride malfunctions

    By: Nate Stewart


    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Some thrill seekers at Carowinds said they got more than a bird's eye view of Charlotte after getting buckled into one of the park's most popular rides: the WindSeeker.

    "As soon as we got to the top that was it," said Pete Suthers.

    The WindSeeker at Carowinds is listed as the tallest ride on the park's website. Suthers was with his daughter and sent Eyewitness News cellphone video when the ride abruptly came to a stop.

    "360 feet in the air. We have been stuck for over an hour," he said.

    While Carowinds' ride maintenance worked to safely bring the passengers back to the ground, Suthers said by phone that he tried keeping some of the 64 other riders calm.

    "I thought, I should have brought my sun cream with me because it was getting to be a bit hot up there and then there were one or two people starting to freak out a little bit, so I was trying to calm the people down behind me," he said.

    This is not the first problem with the WindSeeker. It also broke down last summer, prompting an internal review into the safety of the ride nationwide.

    This time around, Carowinds said a sensor was engaged, causing the ride's safety system to activate.

    No one was hurt, and Suthers said the park gave them a free meal and tickets.

    The park sent Eyewitness News this statement today:

    "Safety is Carowinds' number one priority and the safety mechanisms on the ride worked as they were designed to."

    Park managers anticipate opening the WindSeeker back up on Monday.

    What do you think about this story? Join the conversation on WSOC-TV's Facebook page.

    Next Up: