Thrill ride operator under investigation, on leave - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Thrill ride operator under investigation, on leave

Charles Carnell Charles Carnell

LAKE DELTON (WKOW) -- A Lake Delton thrill ride operator who allegedly failed to follow safety protocols during a girl's crash from one hundred feet remains on leave, with his actions being reviewed as part of a continuing investigation.

A representative of Extreme World confirmed for WKOW27 News the ride attendant is Charles Carnell, 33, of Wisconsin Dells.

Lake Delton police officials have said the ride attendant failed to raise the launch platform on the ride Terminal Velocity to its proper height Friday, and released 12-year old Teagan Marti of Parkland, Florida before a landing net below had been fully deployed.

Authorities and Marti's father said the girl hit the ground in the free fall.   Teagan Marti remains hospitalized in critical condition.

Extreme World owner Bill Anderson told WKOW27 News Carnell is a long-time employee with a good work record and considerable knowledge of the Terminal Velocity ride.

A visit to Carnell's home and a message left for him by WKOW27 News seeking comment produced no response from Carnell.

During a UW Hospital news conference on the condition of Teagan Marti,  Marti family attorney Stuart Grossman was asked whether the ride operator was under the influence of anything at the time of the girl's crash.

"I am aware of an admission,"   Grossman responded without elaborating.

Police chief Thomas Dorner failed to respond to any questions from WKOW27 News on potential operator impairment.

Anderson told WKOW27 News he doubted Carnell used any potentially-impairing substance before operating the ride.

A review of available records involving Carnell revealed nothing to indicate substance abuse,   although WKOW27 News is waiting to receive additional public records.

Acquaintances of Carnell praised his character and called him likeable.

Anderson said Carnell remains on staff and will have his duties reassigned.

"They have identified in their minds what took place,"   Anderson said of incident investigators.

"We are waiting to get the final police reports."

Lake Delton police officials Thursday said no portion of police reports would be released at this time, pending review of the reports by Sauk County District Attorney Patricia Barrett.

Police officials said Barrett would determine if there is evidence of any crimes, such as criminal negligence. 

Online reporting by Tony Galli.

Inside Scoop -  Public's right to know:


Powered by Frankly