Family Sues Park Over Toddler Death

Jayson Dansby died April 2 after he was hit by another car on the Python Pit ride at Go Bananas

By Charlie Wojciechowski and Lisa Balde
|  Wednesday, Apr 20, 2011  |  Updated 5:46 PM CDT
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The family of a 3-year-old who died after he fell out of an indoor roller coaster filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the Norridge amusement park.

The family of a 3-year-old who died after he fell out of an indoor roller coaster filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the Norridge amusement park.

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The family of a 3-year-old who died after he fell out of an indoor roller coaster filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the Norridge amusement park.

Jayson Dansby died April 2 after he was hit by another car on the Python Pit ride at Go Bananas. Jayson fell about three or four feet from the moving roller coaster after crawling underneath the safety bar.

The Dansby’s family attorney filed a wrongful death suit against Go Bananas. The lawsuit alleges the ride was not safe and could not be stopped when the toddler was in danger.

“This was gross negligence,” said attorney Patrick Salvi in a prepared statement. “To make matters worse, this child died on a children’s amusement park ride … in front of his parents and twin brother. No one should ever have to experience this kind of preventable tragedy.”

Go Bananas, at 4516 N. Harlem Ave., reopened about a week after the incident after the village and Illinois Department of Labor ordered the facility shut down. The park said in a statement that no human error or mechanical failure was found in connection with the incident.

The Dansby family contests those findings in the lawsuit.

"The police report, operator statement and our investigation to date show this ride was not safe," attorney Patrick Salvi said during a news conference. In particular, Salvi said the ride would not stop when the operator pushed the stop button.

The manager of Go Bananas declined to make a comment after learning about the lawsuit. He confirmed the Python Pit ride is still closed.

"There was nothing wrong with it; there is nothing wrong with it," said the manager, who would not identify himself. "It is up to us to decide when to open it."

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