coaster

MCHENRY — A man who was injured Thursday in an accident on the Mountain Coaster at Wisp Resort died of his injuries after being airlifted to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, West Virginia.   

The victim was identified as 56-year-old Baltimore resident Harry Congdon.

Details about the accident were not available Friday. State inspectors were on site twice Thursday and again Friday, according to Wisp spokeswoman Laurie Zaloga.

Fallon Pearre, director of Communications for the Maryland Department of Labor, said the department's Amusement Ride Safety Inspection Division is investigating. "However, because the investigation is still active," he said by email, "we cannot provide any additional details at this time."

Congdon was the family services coordinator at the Living Legacy Foundation of Maryland.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends during this difficult time," Zaloga said. "An investigation of the incident is currently underway. As part of that process, the state of Maryland inspected the ride after the incident and has approved it for use." 

The coaster was not in operation Friday afternoon, Zaloga said.

The incident occurred just before 4 p.m. Thursday. Two Garrett County Department of Emergency Services units responded, and a Maryland State Police medevac helicopter flew Congdon to the hospital after landing on Wisp property.

Maryland State Police of the McHenry barrack began investigating the incident Friday afternoon after being made aware of it by the Times-News. 

In an emailed statement, The Living Legacy Foundation said Congdon "impacted more lives than we can imagine."

"Harry, a senior family services coordinator, was one of The LLF’s most tenured and dedicated team members. ... He was a man full of life, compassion, and joy. As we grieve this loss, we cannot help but be grateful to have had the privilege to work, laugh, and cry alongside someone so special." 

The Mountain Coaster features about 5,000 feet of track, including a 350-foot vertical drop down the side of Marsh Mountain. Speeds hit about 28 mph, but riders can regulate those with hand brakes in the coaster cars.

CUMBERLAND TIMES-NEWS, ctn@times-news.com

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