Free-Fall Amusement Park Ride Injures Teen

Emergency crews responded to a call in July at the Extreme World attraction, located in Sauk County, Wisconsin, regarding a female juvenile who had been injured on Extreme World's "Terminal Velocity" ride.

The ride was described as a free-fall ride, where patrons are lifted in a platform to approximately 165 feet in the air and then dropped 110 feet into a net and airbag below. The airbag is typically inflated to about 50 feet above the ground. When the patron is released and hits the airbag, it deflates by about half. The rest of the safety apparatus is then lowered so that the patron can walk off the ride.

But reports say that on that date, the platformed cage stopped before it got to the top of the ride and workers were still blowing up air bags at the bottom of the ride. Reports say the person in charge of the drop didn't look for or get the signal. He thought the bags were inflated, and the safety net was on the ground.

Typically, if a ground operator sees a crease in an airbag, he will stop the cage to add more air. But the operator reportedly didn't check. The victim then pulled the release from her jump harness a fell to the ground. Reports say the cage was approximately 100 feet in the air, rather than 165, when he dropped her to the ground.

When emergency crews arrived on scene the victim lay on the mat directly under the ride, with blood coming from her mouth, ears, and nose. The victim was taken by life flight to the Children's Hospital in Madison.

Hospital personnel reportedly said the victim had swelling of the brain, several severe fractures of the cervical and lumbar segments of her spine, multiple fractures of her pelvis, and lacerations to her liver, spleen, intestines, and duodenum. She was unconscious and unresponsive. An investigation continues.

During the investigation, the families of the injured girl will likely have questions. In a tragedy like this one, questions need to be addressed by experts. The Doan Law Firm P.C.  has extensive experience in personal injury and accidental death cases and can assist any family suffering loss or injury. Contact the Doan Law Firm, P.C., led by Houston personal injury attorney Jimmy Doan, at 1 Riverway, Suite 1700, Houston, Texas 77056, (713) 869-4747 or (800) 910-FIRM.