Girl emerges from coma after 100-foot fall

LAKE DELTON, Wis., Aug. 4 (UPI) -- Police in Lake Delton, Wis., said they were considering operator error in a theme park ride accident that left a Florida girl comatose for four days.

An attorney for the family of 12-year-old Teagan Marti said she emerged from a four-day coma Tuesday, but was unable to move, The (Fort Lauderdale) South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported Wednesday.


"She has so many spinal fractures," attorney Stuart Grossman said, adding that Marti might be paralyzed.

Police said Friday's accident at Extreme World, which the Marti family visited while vacationing in Wisconsin, appeared to be accidental, but that the Sauk County District Attorney's Office will determine whether charges will be filed.

Investigators also said they were looking at "operator error by the ride attendant" in their probe.

Under Wisconsin safety codes for amusement park operations, it's the park manager's responsibility to train ride operators and test all rides each day before opening to the public. Marti crashed to the ground Friday at Extreme World's free-fall tower when the net designed to catch her failed to rise as she was lifted to the ride's top, the Florida newspaper said.


The safety net, Grossman said, is designed to rise off the ground as a rider is hoisted by the tower. When the rider reaches a height of 140 feet, the safety net should be at 40 feet, he said.

"For reasons that no one knows, when this device was at about 100 feet, the net had not gone up," he said. "It's also a design defect that would enable someone to release someone before that net goes up."

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