Man hit by roller coaster while trying to retrieve keys, witness says

A 38-year-old man was taken to the hospital after he was struck by the Banshee roller coaster on Wednesday night. (Kings Island Amusement Park via FOX News)

A Kings Island amusement park guest was badly injured after being hit by a roller coaster on Wednesday, FOX19 Cincinnati reported.

According to the station, police and park officials say the unnamed 38-year-old was hit around 8 p.m. by the "Banshee" ride, which reaches speeds as high as 68 mph.

The man "entered a restricted, fenced area of the Banshee roller coaster and is believed to have been struck by the ride," Kings Island said in a statement to FOX19. He suffered unspecified but critical injuries and ended up being flown to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

Park officials did not immediately say why the man was in the restricted area, but a witness told FOX19 that the man had climbed the fence to retrieve a set of keys that dropped during the ride.

"The workers were coming up to see how we were doing," another Banshee rider, Christian Yonkus, told FOX19. "We had no idea what was going on, so that was kind of crazy."

Police, along with park and state officials, are investigating. The Ohio Department of Agriculture was on site Thursday "to conduct a full re-inspection of the ride."

King’s Island Banshee

King’s Island is a large amusement park in the southwestern Ohio town of Mason, about 20 miles northeast of Cincinnati. The park is owned by Cedar Fair, which also owns Cedar Point, Carowinds, King’s Dominion, and other amusement parks across North America, and is reportedly in the process of merging with Six Flags.

The Banshee, which opened in 2014, is said to be the world’s longest steel inverted roller coaster at 4,124 feet long. Riders reach a top speed of 68 miles per hour after climbing a peak of 167 feet, according to the park’s website