What's new

Alpine coaster incident - help


Theme Park Superhero
Hi all,
Need your help/advice please.

We were involved in a nasty incident on an alpine coaster in Germany last week. Some incredibly stupid guests decided to stop dead on a blind corner, in the rain, to have a conversation and take photos for a prolonged period of time.
This dangerous and obstructive behaviour caused a backlog of emergency stops among riders, beginning with a member of staff who was riding between us and the offending group. He was obviously highly experienced but given the lack of sightlines very, very nearly crashed into them. Behind him my friend, also very experienced, had to use all of his strength to then very nearly not crash himself.
My wife was not so fortunate, she lacked the strength to be able to stop in time and collided with my friend. The injuries were pretty bad, she lost a tooth in the impact, got a nasty bump to the head along with various cuts and bruises and has obviously been utterly traumatised by the experience. She's been in constant pain and is struggling to move ever since and we've been forced to cancel the rest of our trip and return home early.

But it gets worse.

- Upon reaching the end of the ride, the staff member who witnessed the incident didn't even bother to check if any of us were ok, nor reprimand the guests who caused it. They completed their visit utterly oblivious to the pain and damage that was caused.

- I immediately sought help from the info desk and they were unable to provide anyone who was first aid trained to even look at potential injuries.

- They did not even take the incident seriously, no one else from the facility was called and the conversation ended on a dismissive 'what do you want us to do about it?' before immediately selling another 6 tickets to guests, while I was still there at the desk.

- The ride continues to operate as normal and as far as I'm aware they did not make any record of the incident.

- The two cars involved in the collision were visibly damaged and observed by another member of staff at the exit, but were sent back to the top of the lift anyway. I have no evidence to confirm or deny whether anything was done about these, but given the lack of attention or interest shown by staff I can only assume the worst.

- I have since contacted them more than once by email and web form to raise my concerns and they haven't even bothered to respond.

I simply can't leave this alone, but I'm too mentally exhausted at this stage to fight it alone.

Who can I contact? How can I report this? What can I do to make something, anything happen?
If the German equivalent of the HSE in the UK is in any way similar then is this business not law-bound to record, report, risk assess and investigate any and all accidents?
Are they not lawfully required to have someone trained in first aid on-site?
Should they not at the very least acknowledge and respond to a customer complaint?
Is it not highly incompetent business practice to not have a protocol in place for an incident on their attraction, beyond 'try your best to ignore it or ask the injured customer what to do about it'?
There's nothing to stop this happening again and they seem vastly under-prepared to deal with the consequences. I've been around the block a few times but they let 8 year-olds ride this thing unsupervised. It scares me.

Help, please.


Staff member
Social Media Team
Bloody hell, this sounds terrible. I can only speak in very, VERY, limited capacity here, but I think the TUV are possibly one route. They're kind of like HSE/Building Control (my experience)/Regulatory administrator role. They may well have something to say about both the initial situation and the handling of it.

Perhaps someone like @CSLKennyNI can help with something like this? Not sure of any other regular 'German fluent' (metaphorically or literally) members here off the top of my head.

If it's really bad and going nowhere, drop me a PM. I may be able to reach out to some friendly German colleagues who might be able to point you in the right direction.
My Initial thought is do a TripAdvisor report - almost word for word as you've described above, If they have a facebook account make a comment etc, going public usually rouses a response quicker than private emails etc.
agree with this, but I'd put a review on google maps too, it can be a way to get their attention.

Did you get the details of the person that caused the accident, as most alpine coasters I've been on have clear instructions not to stop at any point and always to keep a set distance from other riders, they may be liable for causing the injury.


Giga Poster
Sorry to hear of this @HeartlineCoaster - it sounds like a very stressful incident, for your wife and yourself. I hope you're both recovering well.

I can partially answer some of your questions (sort of) but before that here are some things to keep in mind before going down any rabbit holes 👌

(1) Consider how much energy you want to spend on this. Energy in this context comes in three main forms: time, cost and effort. Everyone has a different allocation of resources and different personal sensitivities to 'raiding your energy reserves'. What might be a walk for one person might be a mountain for another. You will be spending energy physically and emotionally in recovering from the incident. The added international / language barriers will make dealing with this more exhausting still. Do be kind to yourselves and be mindful of your own energy budgets.

(2) I do not expect this will apply to you but it is worth saying: spending energy on the basis of merely 'being in the right' (whether intellectually, morally or even legally) is a waste of energy. Ditto spending energy as a means of 'control' to counter being emotionally and physically 'hurt'. In many circumstances of fact and personal attributes, it often more pragmatic to draw a line under an event than pursue a desired outcome 'at all costs' to just gives yourself personal gratification. If you are going to act in any way, make sure there is at least a tangible outcome as a desired goal.

(3) You are not responsible for the safety of this alpine coaster.

I say all of this to reassure you that it is OK to 'step away' from this event today or at any other time in the future 💪

With that out of the way:

Involving an authority: From your post, I assume this is your primary concern. Germany has a federal system and the relevant H&S authority you can choose to inform will depend on the location of the alpine coaster. If you were to let me know the location, I should be able to find out the relevant authority for you - feel free to DM if you'd like to keep the specifics private.

Pragmatic steps: If you haven't done so already, possibly not if you've been shaken by the incident, you should review your travel insurance policy and their coverage in respect of costs that you might be able to claim (in the same way for any other incident). Your travel insurance, or home insurance, might also take up legal action on your behalf depending on your policies. Either way, you might need to notify them of the event. So worth having a check.

You could ask the alpine coaster company for details of their insurer, which might make them perk up and take action (because at that point they will probably be obliged to take steps to notify them of an impending claim).

Other legal remedies: The below is then based on my own limited understanding, as I'm certainly not qualified to provide guidance on German legal matters:

- From what I understand and generally speaking, claims for personal injury / torts are broadly the same in Germany as in the UK, using tests of foreseeability and causation in the usual way. I also understand that it is not possible to contract out of negligence for personal injury. On that basis, there might be scope to make a claim. However, there is no such thing as 'no win no fee' legal advice in Germany, which makes claims a little trickier from a claimants perspective. So if you aren't covered by your insurance, you might have to dig into your cost reserves to command them to pay attention.

- You and your wife will have inevitably had a contract with the alpine coaster company, pursuant to your agreement with them and their terms etc. In addition, liability for negligence (tort) is principally dealt with under the German Civil Code (BGB). I cannot accurately steer your towards the most relevant provisions but from what little I understand sections 276, 280 and 823 might be relevant - but I'm not sure. Combined, those things might be the basis for any claim.

- In making any claim, which ought to be via an appointed professional if you want the best opportunity to secure a dialogue, your primary aim would be to reach a settlement to draw a line under matters before costs escalate. Being entirely speculative, although your wife could not reasonably be expected to act with the same care and diligence as the driver of a car, I foresee that the alpine coaster company might point our that she 'went into the back' of someone else and that she was in control of the speed of her 'vehicle'. Obviously, that gets countered by the company not taking sufficient care to ensure that there were no blockages, the extent that other riders were warned of precautions/dangers, the design of the ride/'vehicles'... and so on.

- It would be worth considering what the value of this claim might be before taking any steps of that nature - I'll leave you to google that (again, I couldn't say). But if recovery is (hopefully) quick and there are no significant financial losses for yourself, factoring in costs of the abandoned trip, perhaps pursuing a claim (beyond initial investigations) is not an 'energy economic' exercise. Only you could determine this. Or, a professional advisor might give you better insight, if you can afford the 'energy' of appointing one - which might be significant.


Maybe some of that was helpful, maybe not! Anyway - I wish you both well! 🙏
Last edited:


Theme Park Superhero
Thanks all for your time.

Did you get the details of the person that caused the accident, as most alpine coasters I've been on have clear instructions not to stop at any point and always to keep a set distance from other riders, they may be liable for causing the injury.
Unfortunately not, as the priority after not getting any help was of course helping ourselves. I have crude photos and a description, I imagine they could be tracked down in some form of 'PI' way as lets just say their clothing identified their occupation/way of life, accent gave away their origin and I suspect there weren't many other people in that venn diagram also riding alpine coasters in Bavaria that day.

There were clear written instructions not to stop but they were casually observed to have not read the sign board and had an air of self-importance about them (which did not befit their role). From the park's side mitigation of this could include not having sh*t brakes, improving sight lines and the simple addition of an emphasised 'do not stop' to the otherwise simple verbal instruction of 'how to go and stop'.

(3) You are not responsible for the safety of this alpine coaster.
I get this, but I'm coming at it mostly from a morality angle. If you know that something is wrong then I feel you should at least try to do something about it. There's no use being a theme park superhero if you can't use those powers for good.
I come from a world where mistakes are learned from and seen as opportunities to improve, regardless of blame. If this involves the health and safety of others then it's hard to see a scenario in which that is simply swept under the rug.

All other details of the story aside, the lack of human decency in:
a) not checking to see if a person is alright after a serious incident, regardless of blame
b) not then providing support to that person, regardless of blame
c) not bothering to respond to a follow up communication regarding the incident
is the crux of my issue here.

A simple email response of:
'we're sorry that this happened at our facility and for the behaviour of our staff and/or guests, but there's not much we can do about that now.'
petty though it may sound, here's your 50 euro back for the visit
'we'll take your feedback on board and work to improve the safety on our ride'
would have likely closed the case.

Instead all I see is incompetence and cowardice, thus, energy will be spent.