Fact Check

Toddler Ejected from Roller Coaster

Was a toddler ejected from a roller coaster after his mom sneaked him on the ride?

Published Nov. 4, 2014


Claim:   A toddler was ejected from a roller coaster after his teen mother circumvented height regulations and sneaked him onto the ride.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, November 2014]

I came across an article about a toddler being ejected from a roller coaster and it sounds totally fake, but sometimes I am also surprised by the stupid things that people do today.


Origins:   On 29 October 2014, the website Stuppid published an article titled "Toddler Ejected from Roller Coaster," claiming that a one-year-old boy was gravely injured after his teenaged mother sneaked him onto a roller coaster ride in Texas.

According to the article, the gruesome accident (complete with an image, reproduced above) occurred on 28 October 2014 at a theme park in Dallas:

A one-year-old was ejected from a roller coaster at Magic Depot theme park yesterday. While the ride has strict height and age limits, the mother, Julie Rake, 17, was able to sneak her son onto the ride under a coat. The baby was not fastened in and Rake claims she thought she would be able to hold on to the baby, even under the extreme G force of the roller coaster.

According to Stuppid, the horrible coaster ejection incident was caught on cell phone camera by a bystander, and the boy's mom maintained they were "partying" and no criminal charges should result:

"This was an accident," Rake told Dallas police. "I was holding him tight! I just wanted my baby to have a good time. We were partying. I shouldn't be in trouble for this."

A bystander happened to catch the unfortunate event on his Iphone.

"I was taking pictures of my son and wife on the coaster and I see an object and I reviewed my photos and was shocked to see it was a child. What kind of parent takes a toddler on a roller coaster?" the bystander said. "This country isn't the same as it used to be."

The site also claimed the boy's mother planned to sue the theme park for negligence:

"If Magic Depot was doing their job," Ms. Rake said. "They would have caught me smuggling my baby onto the roller coaster and been able to prevent this accident. I'm going after them ... legally. For ten million dollars. People need to also boycott Magic Depot.

Putting aside the fact that no theme park called Magic Depot exists in Dallas, we know this story is false because Stuppid is one of a growing number of fake news sites. Popular past hoaxes from the site include a completely fabricated story about a mother-daughter lesbian couple and yarn about a teen girl who claimed she was pregnant with the son of God.

Last updated:   4 November 2014