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Is Playland Cursed?

No, say officials who don’t ride rides.


On June 29, Playland, the kitschy amusement park in tony Rye, was once again the scene of a grisly accident. A 21-year-old park employee was killed when she was thrown from the Mind Scrambler—the third fatality in three years. But Susan Tolchin, chief adviser to Westchester County executive Andy Spano, says there’s nothing for parents to fear. (Playland is owned and operated by Westchester County and is the only government-owned amusement park in the U.S.) “These tragic accidents are isolated incidents,” she says. “Safety is first and foremost here,” says Playland’s director, Dan McBride. “But the one thing we don’t have control over is human nature.” However, neither McBride nor Tolchin has ever taken a spin on the Mind Scrambler. “I hardly ever go on amusement-park rides; they’re not my thing,” says Tolchin, who regularly brings her grandchildren to Playland. (“They haven’t been on the Mind Scrambler either,” she says. “I’m not even sure they’re old enough or tall enough.”) And McBride cites his weak stomach. “I can’t go on anything that goes around.”

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