NORRIDGE, Ill. – A 3-year-old boy died at an indoor family amusement park in suburban Chicago after falling out of a roller coaster, authorities said Sunday.
The boy was sitting near the front of the Python Pit roller coaster at the Go Bananas amusement park Saturday when he got underneath the ride's safety bar, Norridge Police Chief James Jobe said. He suffered head injuries in what Jobe described as "a tragic accident."
The Cook County medical examiner identified the boy as Jayson Dansby of Dolton, a Chicago suburb, and ruled his death an accident. The cause of death was listed as multiple injuries after the boy was struck and fell from a roller coaster cart.
Jayson was on the ride with his twin brother when he fell out of the coaster while it was moving, Jobe said. Police said a state inspector was at the scene.
Go Bananas is as an indoor amusement park for children's birthday parties and family outings, according to the facility's website. Authorities said they believe the boy met all the requirements for the ride.
His great uncle, the Rev. Carl Jones, said the family had gone to the park for a night out.
"It was just a day out with the kids, spending time with the family," Jones said.
"He was a fun child," he added. "That child had more spirit and joy than anything in the world."
The park's owner, Jerrold Marks, said the park is fully cooperating with investigators.
Marks, who said he has owned the facility for six years and doesn't own any others, said his heart goes out to the family.
"It's just a very sad tragedy," Marks said. "I can't imagine what they are going through." - AP