A 12-year-old Monmouth County boy who was struck by a bird while riding a roller coaster at Six Flags spoke exclusively to NBC10.
It happened yesterday at the Six Flags-Great Adventure in Jackson Township, New Jersey. Shane Matus, of Howell Township, says he was riding in the front car with his friend on the Kingda Ka roller coaster around 5 p.m. when a bird slammed into his face.
“When it hit me I was like, ‘What the-? Did somebody through a ball or something?’ When I started spitting out feathers, I was like, that was a bird,” said Shane.
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Shane showed NBC10 the bruises and scratches on his neck and face from where the bird struck him. Shane believes the bird was a pigeon.
“They say the bird exploded,” said Shane. “It hurt a lot for like three seconds. People behind us had feathers and blood all over them.”
The coaster was returning to the station when Shane collided with the bird. He tells NBC10 he turned his head towards the parking lot when he heard a car alarm seconds before impact.
“If that car alarm didn’t go off, it would’ve hit me dead in the eye,” said Shane.
The ride was immediately shut down until state regulators gave the all-clear for it to reopen around 30 minutes later.
An ambulance rushed Shane, who was at the theme park with his aunt, to the hospital. His father, Adam Matus soon arrived.
“I couldn’t believe it,” said Adam. “I mean what kind of freak accident is this?”
A Great Adventure spokesperson told NBC10 that what happened to Shane had never happened before at the theme park, referring to it as “a true act of nature.”
“It was just a freak accident,” said Shane while chuckling. “Like one in a million that would happen.”
NBC10 asked Shane if he would ever go on the roller coaster again.
“Yeah,” Shane replied. “But not in the front.”
NBC10 asked the Great Adventures spokesperson if they planned to do anything special for the boy. She told us that “guest satisfaction is extremely important” to them and that they would “ensure he is taken care of.”
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