Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster reopens after guest was hurt

Published: Jul. 13, 2016 at 11:09 AM EDT
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The Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster is set to reopen after a guest was hurt on the ride on July 3.

The Workplace Regulations and Compliance Division of The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development granted permission for the ride to reopen on Wednesday.

According to the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, the company hired a third party inspector to inspect the ride on July 6, 11 and 12. The inspectors found the ride was safe and operable for other guests to ride. The company overseeing the Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster had to provide documents that any safety issues were fixed and repairs made.

The device involved in the incident on July 3 was taken out of service. It cannot be used again until it's properly inspected and deemed safe by the state.

Employees at Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster were retrained on safety procedures.

No operational issues were found at Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster according to an independent inspector hired by the business. That report was filed with the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development following an accident on July 3.

The independent inspector sent findings to the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development stating that there were no mechanical or operational issues. According to documents filed with the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development by the operator of the Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster, the woman suffered fractures to both wrists, a knee cap injury, head trauma and possible broken ribs. She was taken to a hospital for treatment.

In a report filed with the state, Joe Ogle, owner of Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster, said that a couple was riding in the double ride sled. A man was driving, a woman was the front passenger. Ogle stated in the filings that she was ejected after the man entered the flagged area at full speed despite warnings to slow down.

Ogle said surveillance video showed the driver did not let up on the handle during the incident and that the woman was not wearing a safety restraint.

The state issued a list of items Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster must fix before reopening.