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Monster Truck Rallies: Unsafe for Kids!

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Two people have died in the last 10 days ... why are parents still taking their kids to these shows?

Monster Truck

Guest blogger Gina: A 41-year-old monster truck show promoter (and father of two) was killed Saturday night at one of his own monster truck shows in Wisconsin, a week after a 6-year-old boy died and a man was injured in a monster truck event in Washington.

On Friday, that same promoter had been touting the safety of his event: "This is our 16th year, and I wish I had a big piece of wood to knock on right now, but we have not had an incident besides a gal slipping in the aisle at another location. That's been all."

He was the third person to be hurt or killed at a monster truck event in a one-week period.

On Jan. 16 at the Tacoma Dome, 6-year-old Sebastian Hizey of Puyallup died after he was struck in the head by a Frisbee-sized chunk of metal that tore off a truck doing doughnuts during the Monster Jam show.

Another man seated nearby also was seriously injured when he was hit by a chunk of flying debris from the same truck.

And they didn't even stop that show after the boy was killed. Can you imagine?

Kids should not be allowed into Monster Truck rallies. Period. They can't get into Rated R movies before age 17 ... why should they be allowed into a stadium full of big trucks and drunks, where they could get killed? A scary movie isn't going to kill them, yet we protect kids from that.

There's something wrong with the system!

But, if you ARE going to allow kids in (after all, what will the rednecks do with their kids on the weekends otherwise), there needs to be some more safety regulations in place.

1. There should be a glass barrier between the trucks and crowd ... just they have at hockey games. Isn't a flying piece of a car more dangerous than a hockey puck?

2. Children in the stands should be required to wear helmets. I know this sounds extreme, but a helmet could have saved little Sebastian's life. We make 'em wear them on bikes ... why not at Monster Truck rallies, too? They're WAY more dangerous!

3. Kids should not be allowed in the front sections, where the risk of getting struck is greater.

4. They need to have WAY MORE medics on staff. It reportedly took an agonizing 15 minutes to reach Sebastian.

If it was up to me, they would stop having these monster truck rallies altogether. They're NOT a safe or "family-friendly" environment. And what purpose does it serve to drive big trucks around until they break, anyway? I just don't get it.

Do you think monster truck rallies are safe for kids?



next: Crushes Then ... and Now!
109 comments so far | Post a comment now
Concerned Parent January 26, 2009, 3:42 PM

Monster trucks are obviously quite entertaining to some people. But, kids are not the best at making safe decisions for themselves. On the other hand if I told one of my kids they could be hit by a flying piece of metal and killed, they’d probably opt for the cheap seats. I don’t think we need more laws, just as a child can enter an R rated movie with his parents the same should remain true of the monster trucks.

Anonymous January 26, 2009, 3:53 PM

OMG, rednecks??? come on! i take my son to these, granted, i make sure we get seats away from the front, but you sure seem judgmental! rednecks and drunks? seriously, grow up! maybe i have been just fortunate to be around people with kids, people who aren’t drunk, and people behaving like adults and no getting into trouble. my father started to take me to them when i was 8. i have NEVER seen a fight, people crazy drunk. so what if they have a beer? there are more drunk people and obnoxious people at football games, baseball games and other events. get off your high horse. like i said, i take my boys to these and i’m not a “redneck” or a “drunk”.

Responsible Parent January 26, 2009, 4:56 PM

We’re so lucky you’re not in charge, then, aren’t we?

I thought this was America? Land of the *F R E E*.

While I don’t enjoy these rallies myself and have never taken my kids to one, why would I want to deny another human being their OWN CHOICE?

And the same goes for you - just because YOU don’t like them, doesn’t give you the RIGHT to make that CHOICE for another person.

I agree with Anonymous above - get off your high horse!

Anonymous January 26, 2009, 5:06 PM

why should they be allowed into a stadium full of big trucks and drunks, where they could get killed?

I’m sorry, but I don’t see the correlation here. If I understand you right then any event whree there is drinking could get one killed. That could include baseball, football and as you mentioned, hockey. In fact, there was an incident a few years ago(?) where someone got hit by the puck and died. Should we then outlaw hockey? It was an ACCIDENT!!!

I am going with my 4 year old this weekend. I even bought us both earmuffs for hearing protection. As for the term “redneck”, heck they have more family values than most so-called “educated” people.




a Mom of race fans January 26, 2009, 7:52 PM

I believe that any event can be dangerous ( I ride horses so do my girls and granddaughters) My whole family has been to Monster truck rallys, Drag races, nascar, Formula one and indy races not to mention all the other sporting events i.e. football games, rugby. etc. I have been hit by debris at more people events than any auto event I have ever been to. My kids who have all grown up. have had more injuries playing their respective sports, than by watching events. I wouldn’t change the fun they had growing up just because someone else didn’t like it. My oldest daughter even did Jr. Drag racing and played rugby.

Anonymous January 26, 2009, 9:20 PM

Me and my fam (husband and 3 boys)all went a week before the death of the 6 year old and we will never go again…It of sort of boring until the very end ,thats when they crash and flip.I was falling asleep.But I don’t think I will go again..Once is enough!

Anonymous January 27, 2009, 1:32 AM

This is by the far the least “logical” thing I’ve read in quite some time…

Monster Truck rallies routinely sell out every weekend. On any given weekend there are several events happening in different cities across the nation. That equates to hundreds of thousands of spectators. Every year, that adds up to millions of fans attending these events. How many deaths occur per year at these events? I’d be surprised if you even hit double digits.

This was an unfortunate accident, but an accident nonetheless. It’s this type of “logic” that makes elementary schools think that playing tag during recess is simply too risky. Today’s mom’s are so overbearing with their paranoia and over sheltering that we’ve forgotten what it’s like to allow children to enjoy themselves.

You are aware that the risk of being killed ON THE WAY to the event is incredibly higher right?

Jerie January 27, 2009, 3:51 PM

My son is 2 and 1/2 and we have taken him twice to the show in Houston. We went just two weeks ago, prior to the tragic incidents mentioned in this article. We will be taking him next January again.

I don’t think it’s logical to put a restriction on children attending these family oriented shows. We don’t have many as it is. Yes it was tragic and heartbreaking, however accidents will happen. There are news stories of a child playing on the front porch and an out of control car runs into the porch and house and kills the child. Does this mean you shouldn’t let your child play on the front porch. We can’t live in a bubble because of what “might” happen. Be logical about your decisions. I think the history of safety for this particular show should be enough for parents to feel safe bringing their families to them.

Everyone wants to overreact these days….jeez.

notredneck January 27, 2009, 5:29 PM

These shows aren’t just for rednecks. I’m about as far away from a redneck as you can get, and I’ve been to two in my life (I haven’t gone recently because I don’t want to support something that causes so many unnecessary carbon emissions).

When I went, I did get drunk, so you were pretty accurate with that one.

Maybe they just need to put up screens to catch parts, like at a hockey match.

Costas January 27, 2009, 11:11 PM

I’m not a redneck, I love monster trucks, however your whole article is flawed, they shouldn’t be indoors PERIOD they should be outside in speedways, fairgrounds and maybe even deserts. They go 0-70mph in 2 seconds why are they running in hockey arenas?

Ryan January 27, 2009, 11:13 PM

You made CERTAIN to include that it was 2 deaths within 1 week. YET, you didn’t bother to mention that before this, there had been no deaths in near 15 YEARS! Why the double standard? Your chances of being killed in a car accident in your life is approximately 1 in 100 (look it up!). HOWEVER, monster truck shows entertain approximately 5 minion people per year, around the world. There have been 4 deaths in the 30 year history of the sport.

Some people aren’t even worth our time… let her keep her kids in an overprotective bubble and then wonder why they are screwed up when they get older, cant last in a relationship and live with mommy at 42 years old.

Anonymous January 27, 2009, 11:14 PM

In addition, I spoke with those who were competing at the Tacoma show when the incident happened and they were not aware of the situation until the show was an hour over! They were doing their jobs behind the scenes and were notified of the horrible situation. From then on, everyone was just in shock and didn’t want to finish competing.

Also, as far as I know, hockey puck deflections have killed more spectators than monster trucks over the years as the same risk occurs. There are measures being taken however to conceal moving parts as much as possible. For instance, a team is developing a “driveline blanket” to be implemented on all drive shaft components to contain any flying debris. We currently use drive shaft loops, which are not as big as a Frisbee as mentioned in news reports, which do their job. This loop was not even broken except for at the weld, and how it was ejected is beyond me. Things had to of worked out just right unfortunately

Anonymous January 27, 2009, 11:16 PM

In addition, I spoke with those who were competing at the Tacoma show when the incident happened and they were not aware of the situation until the show was an hour over! They were doing their jobs behind the scenes and were notified of the horrible situation. From then on, everyone was just in shock and didn’t want to finish competing.

Also, as far as I know, hockey puck deflections have killed more spectators than monster trucks over the years as the same risk occurs. There are measures being taken however to conceal moving parts as much as possible. For instance, a team is developing a “driveline blanket” to be implemented on all drive shaft components to contain any flying debris. We currently use drive shaft loops, which are not as big as a Frisbee as mentioned in news reports, which do their job. This loop was not even broken except for at the weld, and how it was ejected is beyond me. Things had to of worked out just right unfortunately

Ryan January 27, 2009, 11:17 PM

You made CERTAIN to include that it was 2 deaths within 1 week. YET, you didn’t bother to mention that before this, there had been no deaths in near 15 YEARS! Why the double standard? Your chances of being killed in a car accident in your life is approximately 1 in 100 (look it up!). HOWEVER, monster truck shows entertain approximately 5 minion people per year, around the world. There have been 4 deaths in the 30 year history of the sport. Do the math, your chances of dying at a show are about 1 in MORE THAN 30 MILLION!!! Which seems safer?? So, to answer your final question, I would rather have my child at a monster truck show than in the car with me. (I don’t have children yet, but I plan on taking them to as many shows as I can!)
Some people aren’t even worth our time… let her keep her kids in an overprotective bubble and then wonder why they are screwed up when they get older, cant last in a relationship and live with mommy at 42 years old. That’s what happened when you make them live a SHELTERED LIFE!! Let them go and experience the real world, without you biasing them against certain parts of life without knowing the facts!!

Anonymous January 27, 2009, 11:20 PM

I am a member of the monster truck industry, and as my post above indicates, some false assumptions were made. I feel horribly for all parties involved, as us in the monster truck industry are all a big family. When one gets affected, we help them cope and get through, just as any other family. The only drunks I know in this industry are teh people paying to watch in the stands. Monster trucks are based off of safety. Unfortunately, today, fans have pushed us past our limits as they want destruction. We dont necessarily like it, but that is what it has come to. Our love for the sport includes safety being number one so all of this defeated our purposes temporarily. As above, there are implementations of components to better contain parts.

RIP George Eisenhart and Sebastian Hizey

Former Monster Truck Crew Member January 27, 2009, 11:21 PM

I am a father of a 7 year old girl, and I am also a former monster truck crew memeber. I have been a hard core fan of the sport since i was very young and still am to this day. I have many friends in the sport and I am also an acquaintance of the team involved in the accident in Tacoma. And I will tell you the driver and the owner of the team are very tore up over this. It was an accident beyond anyones control. I will tell you that there have been many rule changes in the past two weeks to ensure the even further the safety of everyone. These are NOT rednecks driving, building, and promoting these truck. Many of the builders and drivers are very well educated, and seasoned veterans in this sport or any other motor sport. Jimmy Creten, owner and operator of the Bounty Hunter monster truck, has a degree in mechanical engineering, and robotic engineering.
I will admit there were times while either sitting in the seats, or being down on the floor in the pits, i thought something bad may happen. But I get that feeling while driving to the store. Or while my little girl is at school that something may happen to her. Bottom line is stuff happens, and I will tell you that NO ONE in the monster truck community is taking this lightly. We have been discussing our already good safety record to make it even better, and also doing our part to try to educate the public on why these tragic accidents happen.

Anonymous January 27, 2009, 11:23 PM

Seems the majority of people here get it. Sorry the poster of this article is closed minded and doesn’t understand simple statistics. Oh well. Her loss.

Chicken January 27, 2009, 11:26 PM

One of the related articles: “Boy Mauled and Killed By Family Dog”. More kids have died from household pets in 2008 than have ever died at a monster truck event. How about we ban all dogs? Kids die from allergic reactions to peanut butter. Let’s get rid of this national killer. Kids’re constantly getting hurt playing sports in school. How DARE the schools continue to support such barbaric acts!

Yes, yes people we must ALL put logic aside and keep America’s kids sanitary and safe within their bubbles! Can I get an amen!

Paul curtis January 27, 2009, 11:35 PM

To the person who talked about the millions of spectators who go to Monster Truck Events annually, the amount of people known to be killed during an event or because of a monster truck in the 32 years Monster Trucks have been 7, total.
and in the same time period the number of Fan Injuries reported its somwhere around or just south of 50, in 32 years.

Rocket Rod January 27, 2009, 11:36 PM

Okay…so YOUR sad, sad son is the one sitting in front of his stupid Mario Brothers game all day..brain dead from flipping the stupid joystick that YOU gave him because it was SAFE. Haha. Boy, I am glad my kid got to grow up watching motorsports, baseball, or even the horse races because SHE CAN…THIS IS AMERICA..we already have TOO many bearocrats telling us what we can and can’t do to have someone like YOU doing it too. Leave us alone and go back inside your padded house!!!


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