Man dies in go-kart crash in Wisconsin Dells

Posted Thursday, July 4, 2013 11:30 PM | Contributed by Brian Noble

A man died Wednesday night in Wisconsin Dells after he lost control of a go-kart and it flipped, according to a release. Lake Delton police and Dells-Delton EMS responded to Alligator Alley Adventures Go-Kart Track at 1800 Wisconsin Dells Parkway for a reported go-kart accident, according to the release.

Read more from WISC/Madison.

Saturday, July 6, 2013 12:19 PM

Terrible. I was just riding go-karts with the kid at Mt Olympus on Monday. (TR coming soon) Quite a few wipeouts we saw, but getting killed? wow.

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Sunday, July 7, 2013 7:19 PM

Wow, does that mean Cedar Fair will put roll cages on theirs? I'm not being unsentimental to the fact someone lost their life, but I see roll cages required on go-karts across the U.S.

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Sunday, July 7, 2013 9:04 PM

Cedar Fair has been removing go carts actually...

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Monday, July 8, 2013 9:00 AM

More than Kings Island?

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Monday, July 8, 2013 10:36 PM

Yeah I heard that Cedar fair is doing away with go karts, as it costs more to run them then they make. If they had to pay money to make the ones they have safer, I would see them just closing them all together.

Another thing they might do at other locations, is slow the speed of the cars down, which would make them less attractive to riders. Or, a total revamp of the courses, with banked curves, or padding along the course. Or even make the riders wear helmets. Which would greatly increase the cost of running the rides, and the parks would pass the cost on to the riders.

One of the reasons it costs so much to ride the rip cord type rides, is because the parks have them heavily insured, just in case of an accident. You can bet that the parks will see an increase in liability insurance for go-cart type attractions as a result of this accident.

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Monday, July 8, 2013 11:37 PM

Besides Kings Island, what park has gotren rid of them?

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Tuesday, July 9, 2013 12:53 AM

Cedar Point combined two tracks into one but that was a few years ago now.
Does Valleyfair still have theirs?

Last edited by RCMAC, Tuesday, July 9, 2013 12:53 AM
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Tuesday, July 9, 2013 1:45 AM

Rip Cord rides are practically fail-safe. I say practically, because nothing is truly fail-safe, but I don't recall hearing about any accidents on a Rip Cord in the entire existence of the attractions lifespan so far.

I've seen some accidents occasionally in passing on go-carts that make me cringe. I don't ride them because they don't seem safe to me. I am sorry for this guys family's loss.

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Tuesday, July 9, 2013 3:03 AM

Skycoasters are usually the safest ride in any amusement park. There's double redundancy in literally every piece of equipment that's between the rider and the tower. From an operator perspective, there's quite literally nothing short of intentionally sabotaging equipment or procedures that could cause any sort of accident. If you somehow make a mistake, it would be abundantly obvious before you even finish lowering the platform.

In regards to high pricing, they're high because 1- people are willing to pay it, and 2- Skycoaster takes a percentage of all the sales made (I think it's 15% but I don't remember for sure).

As for go karts, anytime you give people full control over a device like that, there's always a chance for human failure. You can build in all kinds of safety mechanisms, but in the end there's only so much you can do.

I've not heard of any CF park eliminating go karts other than Kings Island. The karts at CP still have two separate tracks, one with a 48 inch height requirement, a simple oval track, and slower cars. The other track has faster cars, a more elaborate layout, and you have to be 16 to participate. Both tracks always seem to have a line in the evening hours, and are often busy during the afternoons too, so I can't imagine they're not making money on them.

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Tuesday, July 9, 2013 9:04 AM

I'm surprised Timbers didn't mention this, but MiA eliminated the adult go-carts all together to put in Lakeside Gliders and the beer garden. All that remains are the kiddie ones that are free for the kiddies.

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Tuesday, July 9, 2013 11:29 AM

Oh no, I bet people are puking all over the place.

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Tuesday, July 9, 2013 11:53 AM

CP Chris said:

In regards to high pricing, they're high because 1- people are willing to pay it, and 2- Skycoaster takes a percentage of all the sales made (I think it's 15% but I don't remember for sure).

Add to that the idea that the cost is a means to control the crowd since Sky Coasters have very limited throughput compared to most rides. It has nothing to do with insurance costs.

And just to reiterate, they are incredibly safe. Redundancy after redundancy. I remember hearing rumblings of an accident involving a severed launch cable (the cable that is used to winch flyers up broke and the flyers drug the cable behind them) back when I worked for Six Flags in the late 90's. It may have just been a warning that it could happen if cables were not replaced on schedule and allowed to deteriorate.

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Tuesday, July 9, 2013 2:35 PM

Hate to say it, but the fact that this happened in Wisconsin is not even the least bit surprising. My law prof last semester hailed from IN, and when I asked him about the WI liability laws, he pretty much shook his head...

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Tuesday, July 9, 2013 2:46 PM

It's the fixed site sky coasters that are the safe ones. I'm not so sure about some of the other ones.

http://coasterbuzz.com/Forums/Topic/girl-falls-to-her-death-from-ride-at-wisconsin-christian-music-festival

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Tuesday, July 9, 2013 2:56 PM

And if you read the thread, you will see that the indecent you are linking wasn't a Sky Coaster. It was a knock-off

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Tuesday, July 9, 2013 11:38 PM

There was a Skycoaster accident I remember reading where a employee was test riding and struck the rolling platform cart because it had not been moved out of the way. This occurred because the employee pulled the ripcord before reaching the top, and the cart had not yet been moved at that point. It was operator error on both parts in a sense, because they should not have begun raising the test rider without the cart secured in the back position, and the employee riding should have known that the cart wasn't secure yet.

In regards to Cedar Fair go carts, I believe this year, KI, MA & DP removed theirs.

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013 4:33 AM

The incident you referenced is actually mentioned in the Skycoaster manual. In that case, the operators had gotten drunk after work and snuck back to the ride after hours. They were "stunting" (hooked up facing backwards) which is prohibited in the first place, and failed to move the rolling platform out of the way. In standard operation at the relatively few sites that still use rolling platforms, the platform is moved and secured before operators even begin to winch up the riders. The sites that use the more common hydraulic platforms have an interlock that won't allow winch up to begin until all four platform walls are on the ground.

bigboy said:

I remember hearing rumblings of an accident involving a severed launch cable (the cable that is used to winch flyers up broke and the flyers drug the cable behind them) back when I worked for Six Flags in the late 90's.

If we're thinking of the same incident, it wasn't a severed launch cable, but actually a failure of the hydraulic winch which basically sent the riders into freefall with the launch cable still attached. The overspeed clutch on the winch, which is supposed to kick in in the event of a hydraulic failure, is tested very regularly now. I'm unsure as to whether the clutches were present before that incident or if they were installed as a response to it.

I was unaware that MA and DP had also removed their go karts this year. That could lend some credibility to low ridership/high liability costs playing a factor in their removal. I'm sure those things aren't cheap to insure when you've got guests controlling their own vehicles.

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013 7:26 AM

Fun said:

In regards to Cedar Fair go carts, I believe this year, KI, MA & DP removed theirs.

I've been going to Dorney since the 1980's, and I don't believe I ever saw go-karts there. Then again, I don't exactly seek them out...

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013 7:59 AM

Jason Hammond said:
And if you read the thread, you will see that the indecent you are linking wasn't a Sky Coaster. It was a knock-off

C'mon. Surely there's nothing indecent at the Christian music festival.

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