Faulty lap bar being blamed for man falling from roller coaster
Police report: 63-year-old flew out seat while ride went around corner
LAKE DELTON, Wis. — A faulty lap bar is being blamed for an incident where a 63-year-old man fell out of a Wisconsin Dells’ roller coaster earlier this month, according to a police report.
Anthony Theisen fell from the Opa roller coaster at Mt. Olympus on March 6. He was bleeding from the head, and was unresponsive but was breathing when police arrived, according to the report.
Theisen’s wife told police her husband flew out of his seat and fell to the floor below while the ride was going around a corner. She said her husband’s lap bar malfunctioned and came unlocked during the ride, according to the report.
Mt. Olympus managers said they had swapped the carts out earlier that day, according to the report. The managers said the carts are swapped out once a year, and the new carts were tested and replacement parts were installed.
A witness told police she rode the same ride as Theisen in the same seat five minutes earlier and noticed the lap bar was loose, according to the report. She said she had to hold the lap bar down during the entire duration of the roller coaster ride.
Police said they tested the lap bars after the incident and all of the lap bars stayed in the locked position except for the seat Theisen was in, according to the report. An officer said he was able to pull the lap bar up and it appeared the locking mechanism on that seat’s lap bar was stripped.
The roller coaster operator said everything seemed normal with the yellow car that Theisen was riding in, according to the report. She said when the ride was stopped after he fell out, the lap bar where he was sitting was in the secure position.
Lake Delton police said there isn’t a criminal investigation for the incident.
The Department of Safety and Professional Services said the investigation into the accident is ongoing.
Mt. Olympus officials said the Opa roller coaster remains closed.