Video Vault: Look back at Cedar Point debuting the Mantis roller coaster in May 1996

SANDUSKY, Ohio - Eighteen years old is such a young age, but apparently not for the Mantis roller coaster.

This week, Cedar Point announced the Mantis will be heading the way of the Jumbo Jet, The Mill Race, The Giant Slide and The Earthquake Ride—that is, to the land of amusement park memories.

The Mantis will carry its last riders Oct. 19, 2014.

The Mantis debuted to the media on May 9, 1996. As often happened here at WEWS, reporter Roosevelt Leftwich was front--and just off-center--for the inaugural ride.

Leftwich grunts, groans and screams his way through the two-minute ride and manages to put in a few facts along the twisting, turning way.

Mantis, he tells us, is the park’s tallest, newest, fastest stand-up roller coaster. It costs $12 million to build with a 145 foot-tall first hill.

But time flies. Now we fast forward 18 years and a few months to the roller coaster’s end of taking riders like Leftwich on drops, twists and loops and wondering what awaits to thrill us next at America’s Roller Coast.

Leftwich left WEWS in 2000 for our Scripps sister station WMAR in Baltimore.

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