An indoor roller coaster at a Wisconsin Dells resort will be shut down permanently and removed.
The state ordered the shutdown after a rider fell 17 feet to the concrete floor and was severely injured. The state Department of Safety and Professional Services issued four code violations against the “Opa” ride at Mount Olympus.
Officials said 63-year-old Anthony Theisen fell from the ride when a defective lap-bar released him on March sixth. He suffered a severe brain injury.
In a statement, Mt. Olympus says, “Our hearts and prayers go out to Mr. Theisen and his family during this difficult time.” The resort has cooperated fully with state investigators, they say, in the effort to determine the root cause of the incident. Though, the company says the state’s finding about the lap-bar was not consistent with its own investigation. “Our engineers and safety experts concur with the state’s conclusion that Mt. Olympus properly assembled and installed the lap bar on the ride. However, other findings regarding weight limitations, bulletins and the inspection of lap bars are inconsistent with what our internal investigators found.”
Thiesen’s attorney, Todd Korb says the long-term effects of the victim’s brain injury are not known. He said Thiesen came out of a coma two days ago.
The resort says, “The important fact is the ride is permanently closed and will be removed from the park. No fines have been issued.” Mt. Olympus says they will continue their own internal investigation.