Ride inspectors are looking over the Zippin Pippin roller coaster after an accident at the Bay Beach attraction sent three to the hospital. Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt says there are three theories into what may have happened Monday afternoon. " There's two backup systems on those breaks," the Mayor explained. "I think we need to vet that a little bit more. There's a computer software package that goes along with the ride, as well as the ride operator."
Bay Beach leaders say they hope the attraction will be reopened by the end of the week. "I'll be the first one on there when we reopen it," Mayor Schmitt said.
Two employees and one rider were injured on the Zippin Pippin roller coaster ride Monday at Bay Beach Amusement Park, in Green Bay.
A park employee tells NBC26 two cars apparently ran into each other, causing the injuries. The injured were taken to a local hospital to be evaluated. The extent of their injuries are unknown at this time.
Officials say it could be days before we know why the popular ride malfunctioned, sending three people to the hospital.
Eyewitnesses in line say they were shocked as they watched a Zippin Pippin roller coaster train, loaded with riders, run into another train at the loading platform. Now everyone wants to know why it failed to stop in time.
It's something no parent says he or she ever wants to hear.
"There was an incident with the cars on the Zippin Pippin here," says Lt. Cody Johnson, of Green Bay Metro Fire Department, pointing to the ride behind him. "Three people have been taken to the hospital, mostly as a precaution."
Jay Williams is a father from Peshtigo, who says "it's actually my son's 10'th birthday, so we have a bunch of friends here, with him."
Williams says his family is no stranger to the Zippin Pippin.
"[We've ridden it] many times, yeah," says Williams, "we were getting extra tickets just for that, so it was disappointing to see that it was closed down."
He says they were on their way to the roller coaster when they heard sirens.
One eyewitness says he and his family were literally next in line for the ride when the collision happened. He tells NBC26 two park employees were sitting on the empty train when it was struck from behind, though Park Management has yet to confirm those details.
"The Parks Department is investigating what took place," says Lt. Johnson.
"It's obviously unfortunate," says Williams, but he adds that he's confident these rides are safe.
"Those are the kinds of things that can happen, and you hope that, because they're permanent rides, and they're regularly maintained, and all," says Williams, "that they're able to take care of it."
The Green Bay Parks Director, Dawne Cramer, says the state last inspected the ride at the beginning of the season, and employees at Bay Beach inspect it every day.
Cramer says the Zippin Pippin will be likely be closed all week as the investigation continues. Repairs to the damaged train are also expected.
The Zippin Pippin opened at Bay Beach in 2011, celebrating its millionth rider in 2013.
Park leaders say they believe these are the first reported injuries on the ride.