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NEWS: 12 year old girl severely injured in Wisconsin Dells

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WISCONSIN DELLS - A 12-year-old girl was "severely injured" on a Wisconsin Dells amusement park ride called Terminal Velocity when she fell to the ground from at least 40 feet and a net failed to break her fall, Lake Delton police said in a statement Friday.


The girl, who is not from Wisconsin, was taken by helicopter to UW Hospital.


Terminal Velocity, a free fall thrill ride, is a featured attraction at Extreme World. Owner Bill Anderson said he had "no idea" of the extent of the girl's injuries. UW Hospital spokeswoman Lisa Brunette confirmed MedFlight had returned to Madison by 1:30 p.m. with one injured patient but she didn't provide further details. Lake Delton police also did not provide injury details.


Judy Norys, from Woodstock, Ill., was at the scene and heard people screaming. A first responder, Norys began doing CPR on the girl.


"There was a little girl on the ground," Norys told reporters. "She wasn't breathing and didn't have a pulse. There was blood coming out of her nose, eyes and mouth."


The ride, inspected about one month ago by state regulators, and the amusement park are now closed.


An employee of the business read from a statement: "There are no words. We will do whatever police ask of us as they investigate. We are praying for the girl and her family."


According to Extreme World's website, the Terminal Velocity platform is 140 feet off the ground and a diver drops 100 feet at speeds up to 52 miles per hour into a double net above the ground. Lake Delton police said in a statement that the girl was released for her free fall but that the net "was not high enough above the ground to completely break the fall and she did hit the ground."


The statement said she fell "at least 40 feet to the ground."


The minimum age for the ride is 14, but children ages 10 to 14 can dive if a parent or legal guardian is present.


The website describes the thrill ride, which was introduced in 2002, this way:


"Terminal Velocity is a new and unique thrill ride. It is the only ride in the world that allows you unattached, controlled free fall. The ride begins with an ascent to the top in a special elevator. Once at the top, a staff member activates the descend system and releases you after a short countdown. The free fall is completely without attachments. Airtubes and break suspensions around the double net stop your fall so softly that you feel virtually no impact at all. Upon landing, the entire device is lowered a short distance to the ground."


A Sauk County dispatcher said a call on the incident came in at 11:53 a.m. MedFlight was dispatched at about noon.


The Lake Delton Police Department, the Sauk County Sheriff's Office and the state Department of Commerce are investigating the incident.


Commerce spokesman Tony Hozeny said the ride was last inspected on June 28 and has been inspected every year since at least 2004. There have been no violations or accidents in that time, Hozeny said.


"We want to express our sympathy for this person who was injured," Hozeny said. "We've directed the ride be shut down until further notice."

Edited by jedimaster1227
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When I saw it on Travel Channel I wanted to ride it really bad! If the ride does re-open I will still ride it when ever I go to the Dells. I just hope that girl is okay, the fact that she was bleeding from her eyes makes it seem really bad... And thanks to the moderator who edited the post to include a quote, I forgot to do that!

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That's really scary. Considering I was going to come here next week, but what stopped me were the prices for the attractions.


I'm really happy we chose not to. Not that I would've done it, but if it happened to her it could've happen to one of us. I do hope they can find a way to reopen it since I can't think of any others in the U.S. Maybe making it so the net doesn't move would help.

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^Jason, I checked, it's the SCAD tower, it's accross the road from Mt Olympus if memory serves me right.


That's awful, I hope the poor girl makes a full recovery.


I'm really surpised a SCAD tower could fail like that - I went on a SCAD tower in Denmark last year and I didn't get anywhere near the ground and lots of TPR people did the Dells one on the Midwest trip. Sounds like there might be one less SCAD tower in the world.

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Very sad for everybody involved, especially the girl and her family. I'm interested to learn how it happened.


Selfishly, it's occured to me that at least this will "save" me from being tempted to ride this next month.

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Ugh, how many of these SCAD Tower accidents have there been now? I don't understand how a failsafe wasn't put in place after the first or second or third accident where the net has failed to be put in its proper place before the rider is dropped.


Like Brent mentioned we've done these on several TPR Trips and I guess I'd like to at least think it would be safer when we're there as a group cause you can bet anything that if I saw our people up there and the net not in the correct position I would be the loudest I've ever been to stop the ride before dropping the person.

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This is terrible.


I could only imagine what the parent must be going thru after seeing this, let alone the child.


My heart goes out to the family.


Is this the same drop ride that was on burt the conquerer show in the dells?

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^^I've been on several versions of this ride and seen even more. I do not believe that someone could 'miss the net'. I fully believe (my own speculation) that the net was not raised up into the proper position.


^I had thought that that modification was made after one of the accidents. I suppose it's possible that not all of the models got that modification.

Edited by SharkTums
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My heart goes out to the girls family. I just saw this on the Travel channel the other day, and it looked insane (so not my type of ride).


But I hope they figure out what is happening with these types of rides and what can be done to prevent them from happening in the future.




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I started looking back at some of our SCAD Tower experiences and found the one at Tivoli Friheden appears NOT to have the net synced up to anything since you take a different kind of elevator up.




I didn't watch the Bert clip that was posted (because I think that show is ridiculous and all that is wrong with coaster shows!) but is the model in the Dells the type that the net goes up and down with the basket, or does it separate and lower and raise on it's own AS WELL as in sync? It could have been as easy as just pressing the wrong button. For example, it's synced up going up, person drops, they then lower the net but keep the basket in the same spot. Then load the next person and just forget to raise the net back up.

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^^I've been on several versions of this ride and seen even more. I do not believe that someone could 'miss the net'. I fully believe (my own speculation) that the net was not raised up into the proper position.



I should have cut and paste info on the ride from the Extreme World website when the news came out, because the website is currently adjusted to just say the park is currently closed. Well at the time of the accident I checked the website and there was a statement about the harness system. It said something to the effect that even if the rider tried they would not be able to maneuver out of the secured starting position and miss the net.


Then again the whole statement in the original article about the girl falling 40 feet doesn't make sense to me.

Edited by larrygator
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The one in the dells has the net connected directly to the lift/elevator. The elevator is in the center of the tower unlike the Tivli version.


The Tivoli elevator is on one of the towers.


I understand that, I've been on both of these types before. What I'm saying is that even though most of the time the net is attached to the lift and travels with it, on some of these models you can also move the net independent of the lift.

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