Shortly before 5:30 p.m., Hackemer, 29, and his nephew, Ashton Luffred, 19, went up the exit ramp to the roller coaster, passing the sign stating that riders "must have two legs" and "sufficient body strength."
Luffred assisted his uncle, who lost his legs and left hip to a roadside bomb in Iraq, into a seat in the first car of the ride, then sat beside him.
For Hackemer, it was another step in regaining his old life. The Ride of Steel was his favorite from his younger days at the amusement park.
The operators of the ride were three people in their late teens/early 20s. If you ask me, they were placed in a no win situation. If they refused to let the man on the ride, everyone would have been all over them to let him on. By everyone, I mean the man, his nephew, and probably other people in line. Most people, while not necessarily approving of the war, support the young men and women involved in it. And if they allowed him on, they were clearly violating their own policies and procedures.
We don't know how well they were trained to deal with situations like this. The wise thing to do would have been to call a manager. If I was the manager, I would have wanted them to make that call. However, I don't think it's fair to blame the workers. They were being respectful of the disabled veteran and probably feel terrible about the whole event. The man went by the sign, which stated that the ride required two legs. He made a conscious decision to get on the ride. It's just a tragic story any way you look at it.