So, so sad.
Twenty-nine-year-old Sgt. James Thomas Hackemer died in an unfortunate roller coaster accident at a New York amusement park over the weekend. The Army veteran had lost all of his left leg and most of his right one in 2008 when an explosive penetrated his armor, severely wounding him. He had lost tremendous amounts of blood, had two strokes, and was in a coma for six weeks. But, he was a a fighter and survived.
…Which makes this story so much more tragic. Hackemer was thrown from the roller coaster Ride of Steel at the Darien Lake Theme Park Resort near Buffalo. He fell from the 208-foot-tall ride and died.
He was determined to ride every roller coaster," said his sister, who was on the ride with him. "That minute he was on that ride, he probably felt the happiest and most normal he's felt in three and a half years."
Another sister says that the park attendants did not question whether or not he should have been put on the ride, considering there was a height limit.
His sister said:
"What gives us peace right now with this whole situation is we've had James for the last three and a half years when we were told he wouldn't survive, we were told he would never wake up, he would be a vegetable. And he overcame that and we overcame it as a family. So I look on the last three and a half years as a blessing."
That's such a lovely way of putting it considering her brother's tragic death. Our hearts go out to the entire family.
[Image via AP Images.]
Tags: amputee, army veteran, dies, roller coaster, sgt james thomas hackemer, tragic