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Magic Mountain accident: Boy hit by branch before Ninja derailed, family says

A family from Long Beach says their son was hit by a tree branch on the Ninja roller-coaster just before it derailed.
A family from Long Beach says their son was hit by a tree branch on Six Flags' Ninja roller-coaster just before the ride derailed Monday.

Hayden Doughty, 9, says his bruises are fading, but he's still a bit sore after the branch hit him.

"We were going really fast and I didn't see the branch so it hit me in the chest," he said.

Hayden, his 7-year-old brother Cole, and their parents were all on Ninja when Hayden was hit. The family says when the ride was over, they alerted the operator that something struck Hayden.

"He didn't stop the ride. He didn't even look at anything even though we told him that there was a problem," said Hayden's father, Jerold.

Hayden was checked out by a medical technician at Magic Mountain and given some ice for his sore chest.

The family was on their way to report the incident to guest services when they heard about the accident that left four people with minor injuries.

"Then we find out a tree branch broke it? They could have prevented the whole thing," Jerold said.

Hayden is feeling fine today but his father says Magic Mountain could have prevented others from being hurt.

"They could have stopped the whole catastrophe if they would have just listened to their customers," he said.

The theme park has issued a statement in response.

"We have policies and procedures in place that if a guest tells a team member about an issue on a ride, the ride is immediately shut down and our maintenance and operations teams do a thorough investigation," said representative Sue Carpenter. "If this happened, our park protocol would have taken place. The safety of our guests and employees is our No. 1 priority."

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