A man who jumped a fence to retrieve his wife's hat from beneath a roller coaster died after being struck on the head by a passenger whizzing by on the ride.
Authorities said Hector Villegas Mendoza climbed a 6-foot fence Monday at Paramount's Great America Theme Park to reach a restricted area beneath "Top Gun." Passengers on the coaster hang in harnesses from cars suspended from an overhead track, with their legs dangling.Signs posted in English read "Do Not Enter," but police said Mendoza spoke only Spanish.
Mendoza, 24, of Jalisco, Mexico, was struck by a woman's leg as she rode past at roughly 50 mph, and died about an hour later at a hospital.
Mendoza was trying to retrieve a hat that his bride of two months had lost while riding the same ride earlier, police said.
The woman on the ride, 28-year-old Jessica Medina, suffered a broken leg.
It was the third death at the park since it opened in 1976 and the first related to "Top Gun."