Zippin Pippin reopens after June accident


GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) – The Zippin Pippin is back in operation at Bay Beach Amusement Park after being closed for more than two weeks.

As Action 2 News reported on June 20th, three people were hurt when one of the roller-coaster’s train cars hit another. The injuries were minor, but the roller coaster was immediately shut down for inspections.

State inspectors found four code violations, including a lack of training records, a loose brake sensor, and operators not being in the proper positions.

The state suggested train car re-certification, extended training for employees, and the brake sensor be fixed.

Re-certification for one of the train cars was completed this week allowing the coaster to open up to riders Saturday.

“It’s been a real loss for Bay Beach,” says Chris Prazi, who was first in line this morning. “It’s not really the same without it.”

Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt says the cause of the accident still hasn’t been determined, but since there’s only one train operational today, eliminating the possibility of a similar incident, he feels comfortable reopening the Zippin Pippin.

“I still want to add that second car, yeah, I think I want a little bit more comfort level as to exactly what happened,” said the Mayor. The investigation is still ongoing.

The Mayor’s office sent a press release Friday after the ride was cleared to reopen. The release includes details on corrective measures taken by the city since the accident.

“To ensure the safety of riders, the City has performed maintenance upgrades and conducted extensive test runs on the ride. The City has also addressed the findings from the State, including providing additional operational training to the Zippin Pippin coaster operators. The City of Green Bay and the State have determined that the ride is safe for single train operation…”

– Celestine Jeffreys, Mayor Schmitt’s Chief of Staff

Despite not having a final determination of the cause of the June 20th crash, fans of the coaster were more than happy to take a ride.

“We always go to [Six Flags Great America] every year and they have incidents and minor injuries, so we know it’s a risk but we don’t mind because we like the thrill,” says Christine Ramsey, whose family is in town from Chicago’s south suburbs.

Ramsey’s daughter, Christianity, says today’s experience was well worth the wait in line.

“I was scared like the first time I saw it, but it was cool,” said Christianity. “I liked it.”

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