After a state inspection and investigation of the Opa Roller Coaster at My Olympus Theme Park, the ride has been permanently closed after a man was thrown from the coaster and fell 17 feet to the ground. According to the Baraboo News Republic, a state agency has found several maintenance and training violations and has ordered that the park shut down the coaster. The agency said that the coaster needs to replace old and defective parts. This is all in reaction to the March 6 accident where 63 year old Anthony Theisen was thrown from the coaster and fell to the ground. Theisen was put into an induced coma and put on a respirator.
According to the article, The Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services inspected the ride after the accident and came to the conclusion that the maintencance in the park was not up to standards. The agency ordered the park to begin new training procedures including keeping track of training records for the staff. The park must also change its maintenance practices throughout the park. The Opa Roller Coaster cannot be put back into operation until all of the things highlighted in the investigation have been dealt with and another inspection occurs.
The lawyer for the man injured in the accident stated that Theisen has come out of the coma as of Monday. There is still no way to determine the long term effects of his brain after sustaining this injury . Mount Olympus said in a statement that the findings from the state agency are inconsistent with what their internal investigation was with the lap bar that was the problem in this accident. In the agency’s report it states that mechanical parts on the ride were so worn that it did not allow the lap bar to lock in the proper position during operation. The statement also claims that the weigh limit for the car had been exceeded by over 60lbs. The lead investigator said in a statement, “we conducted and observed a re-enactment of the incident, which included the use and positioning of dummies with weights similar to those of the patrons at the time of the incident. We observed the dummy in the far left seat move forward and the lap bar for the far left seat open while maneuvering around turns on the roller coaster.”
Below is the list of things that the park must do after further investigation:
• Ensure that proper maintenance and inspection procedures are completed as required by the manufacturer.
• Ensure that all safety bulletins issued for the ride have been reviewed and any required changes have been made.
• Replace defective and/or worn components.
• Ensure the ride is not operated with tubs exceeding the 660-pound capacity limit.
• Ensure that employee training is recorded.
In response to the state report, Mount Olympus has decided to completely remove the roller coaster.