A popular Gatlinburg, Tenn., attraction that allows visitors to coast through the woods of the Smoky Mountains was shut down over the busy Fourth of July weekend after a woman was thrown from the ride and seriously injured.
According to the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, a woman riding the Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster in the front seat of a double-seat coaster cart was thrown from the slide on July 3. She sustained head trauma, broken ribs, multiple fractures to both wrists and a knee. She was taken to a local hospital for treatment.
A state-certified third-party inspector was called in after the accident to examine the ride for defects or other potential safety issues, as Tennessee law requires after an amusement park injury or fatality. The inspector found the attraction to be in proper working order, but it remains closed until some other safety issues are addressed and remedied.
“This Department is still working with the company to achieve statutory compliance requirements which will not be ready until next week, until then the Mountain Coaster remains closed,” Department of Labor and Work Force Development spokesman Chris Cannon said.
State officials will allow the Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster ride to re-open once it has taken “remedial measures” that bring it into compliance with the state’s safety codes.
According to the Sevier News Messenger, the amusement’s web page said that each coaster car is built for single or double riders and is equipped with safety harnesses and lap belts. The company website has since been disabled.