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Wisconsin man suffers brain injury after roller coaster accident

A Wisconsin man has been left in a coma after a roller coaster accident, which appears to be caused by a faulty lap bar. According to reports, the 63-year-old man fell from a coaster at an indoor resort in Wisconsin Dells on March 6. He reportedly fell almost 17 feet before hitting the concrete below at Mt. Olympus Theme Park.

According to reports, the man's wife was also in the coaster at the time of the accident and told authorities that the man's lap bar came unlocked as the coaster went around a corner. The man was apparently thrown from his seat. An investigating officer reportedly checked the roller coaster cart that the man fell from and found that one of the four lap bars came unlocked when it was pulled on. According to the report, the locking mechanism on that seat was stripped.

A maintenance worker is said to have told police that everything was fine during the test runs for the ride earlier that day. According to the man's attorney, a test run with sandbags used to simulate the 63-year-old's weight showed that the lap bar did indeed unlock at the corner where the man fell. The 63-year-old sustained a brain injury and numerous fractures and is currently in University Hospital in Madison. The general manager of the resort released a statement saying that the facility was cooperating in investigations by both the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services and the Lake Delton Police. The coaster remains closed.

Whether a personal injury suit is viable in this case likely depends on the results of the investigation, including the various test runs and whether anyone at the resort was aware of the lap bar malfunctioning prior to the incident. Those who suffer brain injuries often face increasing medical costs for treatment and rehabilitation, and monetary compensation may help ease some of that burden.

Source: FOX11, "Police: Lap bar failed in roller coaster accident" No author given, Mar. 28, 2014

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