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Boy Hit In Face By Bird on Kingda Ka Roller Coaster in Six Flags

Travelers Today       By    Katie McFadden

Updated: Jul 30, 2012 12:25 PM EDT

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A young boy's roller coaster ride became even more wild for an undesired reason. The boy was hit in the face by a bird while riding Kingda Ka at Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey.

Shane Matus,12, of Monmouth county was riding in the first car of the roller coaster with his friend on Thursday when something unexpectedly hit him in the face.

"When it hit me I was like, 'What the-? Did somebody throw a ball or something?' When I started spitting out feathers, I was like, that was a bird," Shane told NBC News.

Kingda Ka is the world's tallest roller coaster at 456 feet high. The roller coaster follows a path that shoots straight up into the sky and comes crashing down again at 90 degree angles. It reaches speeds of up to 128 miles per hour.

"They say the bird exploded," said Shane. "It hurt a lot for like three seconds. People behind us had feathers and blood all over them."

Matus was taken to the hospital after suffering from extensive bruising and scratches on his neck and face as well as shock. Matus believes the bird was a pigeon.

Matus' father met his son at the hospital. "I couldn't believe it," his father told NBC. "I mean what kind of freak accident is this?"

Matus' injuries were pretty minor considering what could have happened. Matus believes that he could have lost an eye if it wasn't for being distracted by a car alarm a few seconds before getting hit.

Six Flags spokeswoman Kristin Siebeneicher said that he ride was shut down and officials were notified. They reopened the ride after 30 minutes.

"We immediately shut the ride down and notified the state Department of Community Affairs, which is protocol," she wrote. "They cleared us to reopen the ride approximately 30 minutes later," Siebeneicher told the Christian Post.

She said the incident was a freak accident that never happened before.

This isn't the first time an accident like his had happened though. In 1999 model Fabio was left with a bloody face after he was hit by a bird while riding Apollo's Chariot at Busch Gardens, in Williamsburg, Virginia.

When asked if he'll ever ride Kingda Ka again, Matus told NBC, "Yeah, but not in the front."

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