In the video, the roller coaster zooms by, moving the cracked beam and widening the crack’s gap back and forth.
Jeremy Wagner, who was at the Carowinds Amusement Park in Charlotte with his kids, recorded the video before reporting it to park staff. The park’s newest and tallest ride was eventually shut down later on in the day.
Wagner said his daughter and niece rode the Fury 325 about eight times that day. He explained since it was an extremely hot day, he left about 30 minutes early to turn on the air conditioning in the car while the two girls rode the roller coaster a few more times before heading out for the day.
When he pulled out in front of the park to pick them up, he was taking in the engineering feat of the roller coaster when he noticed the crack.
“I’m like, I can see light through that,” Wagner said. “To be sure, I checked the other support beams close by, and then the car came by and shifted as it did. And I knew then.”
That’s when Wagner took out his phone to capture the crack on video to show to park staff.
Wagner first showed the film to an elderly parking attendant because he was already outside the park. The man said he didn’t see anything when the roller coaster cars came back around and revealed the crack.
But Wagner insisted that the park needed to shut down the ride immediately.
He said it took the fourth person he encountered after he got into guest services to do anything about the situation.
“There was no sense of urgency,” Wagner said. “That was what really concerned me.”
The woman who helped Wagner asked if he could airdrop the video of the crack moving to her phone. She reassured Wagner that she would send the video to someone and then she walked away.
Eventually, the park shut down the ride.
Wagner said if it wasn’t shut down, the hundreds of people on the ground walking and on the ride itself could have been crushed if the coaster came crashing down, especially since that beam stood right by the exit of the park.
His friends on social media said Wagner prevented a larger catastrophe from happening.
Since the incident, Wagner has not heard anything from the park. But he is intending to go back to the park sometime next week.
In a statement, the amusement park said Fury 325 — the world’s tallest and fastest giga roller coaster — was closed Friday after park personnel became aware of a crack at the top of a steel support pillar.
A giga coaster is a type of roller coaster with a height or drop of at least 300 feet. The coaster reaches speeds of 95 MPH and has a height of 325 feet, according to the park’s website.
The park said their maintenance team is conducting a thorough inspection and the ride will remain closed until repairs have been completed.
“Safety is our top priority and we appreciate the patience and understanding of our valued guests during this process,” Carowinds’ statement read in part. “As part of our comprehensive safety protocols, all rides, including Fury 325, undergo daily inspections to ensure their proper functioning and structural integrity.”
NewsNation affiliate WJZY contributed to this report.