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Wisconsin man remains in coma after Dells roller coaster accident


Wisconsin police say a man remains in the hospital after roller coaster accident at the Mt. Olympus Theme Park in the Wisconsin Dells March 6.

A police report cites a faulty safety bar in the accident, which apparently unlocked as the roller coaster rounded a corner, the Associated Press reports.

The AP says an attorney for the family of 63-year-old Anthony Theisen says he remains in a coma at University Hospital in Madison with numerous fractures and a brain injury.

Lake Delton police say Theisen fell nearly 17 feet from the roller coaster to the concrete floor at Mt. Olympus Theme Park March 6. The name of the ride was Opa, WISN reports.

According to reports, Theisen's wife, Kay Theisen, was riding in the same coaster cart and told police her husband's lap bar unlocked when they went around a corner and he was thrown into the air.

A police officer who checked the ride said it appeared the locking mechanism on the bar was stripped. A Mt. Olympus maintenance worker told investigators the ride was working properly during test runs that day, the AP reports.

It’s unclear how common roller coaster safety bar accidents like this are.

According to a report by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, an industry-affiliated trade group which collects injury reports for all facilities with fixed-site rides in the U.S., injuries on family and adult rides were up 28 percent in 2011 over the year before. The trade group says roller coasters accounted for more than 28 percent of the injuries in 2011, down from almost 36 percent in 2010.

A 12-year-old girl was seriously injured in 2010 in the Wisconsin Dells.

Teagan Marti was dropped 100 feet to the ground from the Terminal Velocity ride at Extreme World in the Dells, the Wisconsin State Journal reports.

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