Go Bananas reopens after roller coaster death

April 8, 2011 2:58:59 PM PDT
After being closed almost a week, Go Bananas amusement park in Norridge opened Friday for the first time since a 3-year-old boy fell to his death from a roller coaster.

Jayson Dansby was riding the Python Pit with his twin brother last Saturday, April 2, when he freed himself of the safety bar. He was struck by several cars. The Python Pit remains closed as the investigation continues, but the rest of the indoor amusement park opened at noon Friday.

Brandon Jimenez brought his 4-year-old nephew to Go Bananas Friday.

"We will think about whether or not he should get on that ride or would that be a safe ride for him. It is a safety question," Jimenez said.

The Village of Norridge inspected the facility while it was closed. They say all rides were inspected and met Illinois Department of Labor safety regulations.

"There is no mechanical problems, no mechanical things involving the accident. The investigation also said there was no human error involved. It was just a tragic accident," Gerald Marks, Gone Bananas, said.

It is not clear when the stop work order will be lifted from the Python Pit and the roller coaster will be rolling again.

Marks did not allow reporters inside the amusement park Friday afternoon. There were not many customers going in and out during the day-- and one woman changed her mind about letting her children spend an hour inside Go Bananas after learning about Dansby's death.

"I am not going. I'm sorry. I didn't know that. I didn't know that," Zenata Zelag said.

Marks said while the accident may overshadow the amusement for now, he doesn't think that will last long. Marks says safety has always been a priority and the Python is in a walled-off area that's inaccessible at this point.

"For five years families have had a great outing and I am confident they will continue to. And if people are uncomfortable coming back at this time, I can't change their mind," Marks said.

By late afternoon, traffic into the amusement park had picked up as kids got out of school.