WISCONSIN DELLS, Wis (WRN) The father of a girl severely hurt on a free fall ride speaks out. Dr. Alex Marti says it’s a “miracle” that his daughter Teagen survived a 100 foot fall from a ride Friday at a Wisconsin Dells park.
Although conscious and in stable condition, the 12-year-old is unable to speak. The family is using her eye movements to communicate by asking yes-or-no questions.”Last night she wanted her head scratched and it took us a long time to figure it out. It took us like five minutes.” says the father.
Teagen told her parents she wanted to try “Terminal Velocity” after seeing the ride on a Travel Channel show. “When she saw this show she’d been talking about it for months and months and months,” says Marti, a radiologist in the Ft Lauderdale area.While visiting relatives in the Midwest, the Florida family traveled to the Dells to grant the girl’s wish.
Investigators say operator error led to the fall as a safety net was not properly in place. Dr. Marti says some type of fail-safe mechanism should have been in place to prevent that from occurring.
While speaking to reporters today, the family’s attorney Stuart Grossman is asked if the ride operator was sober when the incident occurred. “Let’s wait for the police report to come out. I’m aware of an admission that he made but I think that they should be the ones that release that information,” says Grossman. The attorney says legal action will also be pursued.
Doctors will likely have to operate to fuse the multiple fractures throughout her neck and back. The major surgery, which will be from the base of the skull all the way to the lower spine, may happen this week, according to Marti. He was especially thankful to American Family Children’s Hospital in Madison which he called a “model” of how to treat trauma patients.