Published: Jul 13, 2011 6:20 PM EDT
Updated: Jul 13, 2011 5:20 PM EDT

BATAVIA, N.Y.- Police say the death of a legless Iraq war veteran who was thrown from a roller coaster in upstate New York was an accident but say the man never should have been allowed on the ride and workers violated park policy.

Genesee County Sheriff Gary Maha (MAY'-hah) says signs at the Ride of Steel roller coaster at Darien Lake Theme Park & Resort clearly state riders "must have two legs."

Sgt. James Hackemer died Friday when he was thrown from the last - and second highest - of three hills on the coaster. He fell about 150 feet and landed on grass.

Maha says Hackemer "didn't have the physical attributes" to hold him in the ride. He says the operators knew he was a double amputee but allowed him aboard anyway.

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