Dells attraction allegedly disrupting crime scene, charged operator returns to work

Posted Friday, August 20, 2010 9:32 PM | Contributed by Jeff

The park ride worker charged with a felony for dropping a 12-year-old Florida girl from an amusement park ride before a safety net was secured is back to work at the same Wisconsin park where the accident occurred less than a month ago. Police say they are looking into suspicious activity from several other workers at the small amusement park called Extreme World in Wisconsin Dells. Police stated they observed workers "repairing the ride" where Teagan Marti fell.

Read more and see video from CBS: Crime scene and returning to work. Also, from AP, victim's mother says it's a miracle she lived.

Friday, August 20, 2010 9:43 PM

Ok, well that seems pretty weird.

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Friday, August 20, 2010 9:51 PM
Carrie M.'s avatar

Wooowww.... that's crazy!


"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

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Friday, August 20, 2010 10:23 PM
Jeff's avatar

I want nothing more than to see this kid recover. And then I want to see these morons sued out of existence. I'm sorry, but when you let something like this happen, you don't get to continue operating. This wasn't some freak mechanical failure, this was humans being stupid. Stupid people don't get to make money putting people in dangerous situations.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Friday, August 20, 2010 10:36 PM
Carrie M.'s avatar

Right? I don't know what I was expecting to hear happened, but, "I just blanked out. I didn't even look down to see if the net was in place," sure didn't make the list.

I can't help but be really, really angry about this.


"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

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Saturday, August 21, 2010 7:49 AM

I just read the article for the first time as to what happened and I'm beside myself. You "blanked out"?! You freaking moron! My god. Come here, I'll show you blanked out. How in the world this mother and father are keeping it together is beyond me. I would have flat out lost it and went to lala land, never coming back. It would not be pretty for "blanked out" man when I heard that excuse. My heart broke when I read how she saw her daughter on the ground like that. How could this have even been a possibility? There's no fail-safe system? Obviously not or it wasn't working. Then they catch them tampering with it, a true and clear criminal conspiracy to cover-up wrong doing. I was dead tired before I saw this, now I'm wide awake. Ok, I'll get off my soap-box now.

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Saturday, August 21, 2010 8:00 AM

I'm completely guessing here, but: He didn't blank out. He just didn't check. The platform stopped going up, and he did what he does---opened the door, and let her go.

I can't imagine that the police didn't make it abundantly clear to the park that they weren't to touch that ride. I suppose it's possible that the message didn't make it all the way to the guys who were there, but it does seem unlikely.

As for suing them to oblivion---given the impending bankruptcy/foreclosure proceedings (I forget which) I think they are already there.


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Saturday, August 21, 2010 11:29 AM
Carrie M.'s avatar

Yeah, I don't think he meant he literally blanked out. I think he meant he just wasn't thinking. He spaced out if you will. He didn't check for the clearance and he didn't even look down. It's the casualness of the sentiment that blows my mind.


"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

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Saturday, August 21, 2010 5:08 PM

You would think there would be mention in the news reports of a drug/alcohol test and whether Carnell passed it. The "blank out" defense just adds desperate insult to near lethal injury. There isn't a person/juror on earth who would buy this nonsense, aside from the owners of the park who hope to win a lawsuit.

The Dells has a long history of being the slum lords of the amusement park industry. Just punch in Mt. Olympus on Trip Advisor and read the reviews. As much as I love Hades the park experience and employees keep me from visiting. Noah's Ark is the one good exception, but it is hard to understand why anyone spends their vacation dollars in the Dells.

The whole story is such a mess, I too hope Extreme World gets sued to hell and back.

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Saturday, August 21, 2010 8:40 PM

It's the casualness of the sentiment that blows my mind.

If he was that casual in his responses to the police, it goes a lot farther in helping me understand why he was charged with the 1st degree variant of the offense.

Last edited by Brian Noble, Sunday, August 22, 2010 3:17 PM
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Saturday, August 21, 2010 8:55 PM
Carrie M.'s avatar

That's a good point.


"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

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Saturday, August 21, 2010 9:18 PM

Jeff said:
I want nothing more than to see this kid recover. And then I want to see these morons sued out of existence. I'm sorry, but when you let something like this happen, you don't get to continue operating. This wasn't some freak mechanical failure, this was humans being stupid. Stupid people don't get to make money putting people in dangerous situations.

Not to mention they LET the guy go back to work. That is wrong on so many levels. If this is how seriously that they take their safety, you will not see the Moss family at this attraction!


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Saturday, August 21, 2010 9:21 PM

Carrie M. said:
Yeah, I don't think he meant he literally blanked out. I think he meant he just wasn't thinking. He spaced out if you will. He didn't check for the clearance and he didn't even look down. It's the casualness of the sentiment that blows my mind.

Yeah it's much too casual on something this serious. Wonder if the operator has any children?


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Saturday, August 21, 2010 9:26 PM

Cant disagree with the slum factor to a lot of the businesses there but there are other good operators besides Noah's Ark, mainly (from my experience) the Original (White and Green) Wisconsin Ducks, Kalahari, Pirates Cove and Great Wolf Lodge. And that is just the attractions, there are some good restaurants there as well.

Places like the Dells, Branson, Pigeon Forge, etc. are always going to attract a fair share of seedy businesses, but usually its fairly easy to pick them out.

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Sunday, August 22, 2010 12:50 AM

Brian Noble said:

It's the casualness of the sentiment that blows my mind.

If he was that casual in his responses to the police, it goes a lot farther in helping my understand why he was charged with the 1st degree variant of the offense.

I read that section of the code you posted on the other thread, Brian. I think it would be difficult to prove "willful" lack of respect for life as the code defines it. There's obviously some kind of negligence that happened here that resulted in serious injury. Seems strange that there's no offense defined by negligence rather than willful action. It would be a shame that everyone is found not guilty because nobody really "wanted" or "intended for" the girl to be injured.

I'm also willing to allow that we're probably not dealing with the most erudite person here. Maybe blanked out means just he just followed the same routine over and over without thinking or observing-- platform stops, jumper goes, and in this case he neglected to check whether the net was in place. I don't know.

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Sunday, August 22, 2010 7:36 AM
kpjb's avatar

...he just followed the same routine over and over without thinking or observing-- platform stops, jumper goes, and in this case he neglected to check whether the net was in place.

That would be my hypothesis as well, and it leads me to believe that there was perhaps something mechanically wrong with the ride. Not sure how the platform raises, but I'm sure that it stops at a particular height automatically.

When the vehicle stopped, this Rhodes Scholar assumed that it was the whole way up.

This would corroborate with the fact that they were trying to fix the ride at 2am. Was there a bad sensor/limit switch? Was there something broken on a tower or on the ride vehicle that caused it to stop? It seems to me like that is what they're trying to hide. They can say "oops operator error" and get away with it, but if it was bad maintenance/lack of inspection then they'd be on the hook.

In the one report, the park manager admits that the towers are rusted beyond repair, so I'm guessing that maintenance isn't their strong suit.

(edited for clarity)

Last edited by kpjb, Sunday, August 22, 2010 7:37 AM

Hi

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Sunday, August 22, 2010 10:54 AM
Carrie M.'s avatar

Yeah, that's what I was indicating when I said I thought he likely meant he just spaced out and wasn't thinking. But I was thinking about that. And I merely toss this out for intellectual fodder. How does one make the distinction between willful disregard and negligence? Could it be measured in perceived remorse? If this ride operator seems to be unaffected by the event and offering casual responses, is that what may have led the police to make the charge as Brian suggested? If so, is that enough to lead to conviction?

It's interesting.


"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

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Sunday, August 22, 2010 10:26 PM

I was wondering the same things, Carrie. This seems to be the least serious possible charge that could be made. Yet it requires willful regard-- which most people will equate with deliberate. Even a mediocre defense attorney could question what reason this guy had to "willfully" harm a girl he never knew existed until 2 minutes before the accident. Or question why he didn't show willful disregard for the lives of all the other people who rode the attraction during the time he worked there.

Even the word "accident" implies that there was no willful action involved. Most of the people who responded to the stories are saying he didn't intend to harm the girl. And those are the same pool of people where the jury will come from.

Here are more questions. Are we interpreting it as not being remorseful because the guy is back working at the same place when it could be that he really really needs the money (especially now)? Does saying "I blanked out," or "I don't remember" come off as being unaffected because of all the other stories we hear about people being severely traumatized because they're certain part of a mascot costume touched them in an inappropriate place?

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Monday, August 23, 2010 11:56 AM
Carrie M.'s avatar

Yeah, you're right. No matter what the reason for why the charges were brought on the guy, it would be really hard to prove he willfully injured her. And it's not likely he did. That just doesn't make any sense.

If I were that guy, though, I'd be pretty angry about the park trying to fix the ride in the middle of the night. They are basically working against his case that way.


"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

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Monday, August 23, 2010 1:48 PM
Kick The Sky's avatar

I think the park management should be charged if they are tampering with evidence. I also think the park has no remorse if they are bringing this guy back to work. I'm betting the Marti family is furious that this clown still has a job. Then again, this is typical Dells operations anyways. There are a lot of other places there that would have handled this accident the same way...


Certain victory.

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