The death of a 16-year-old Florida boy at a closed, outdoor section of Mt. Olympus Water Park has been ruled accidental by Lake Delton police.
The boy was killed Wednesday night after a late-night, 35-foot fall from the “Dragon’s Tail” water slide at Mt. Olympus.
“It has been deemed an accidental death, with no foul play,” Lake Delton Police Sgt. Gerald Grimsled said Friday.
Even though the police investigation has concluded, the accident is being investigated by the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (WDSPS), which is standard procedure following such an incident — even though the park was closed when the accident occurred.
“They (the WDSPS) have to look into it; it’s commonplace,” Grimsled said.
WDSPS representatives visited the park Thursday, according to Mt. Olympus owner and operator Nick Laskaris, who also expressed his deep sadness regarding the tragedy, speaking Friday morning by telephone from his new winter home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
“My thoughts and prayers are with the family,” Laskaris said. “I have teenagers, and it’s really gotta hurt.”
The “Dragon’s Tail,” at 70 feet from its highest point, is the park’s highest and one of its steepest water slides, Laskaris said.
The boy, whose name has not been released, was on vacation in the Dells with his family and was sliding down nearby snow-covered hills with a brother and a friend Wednesday night near the park prior to the accident, according to Lake Delton Police Chief Daniel Hardman.
The youths apparently decided to scale the park’s 7-foot security fence, and the victim attempted to traverse the “Dragon’s Tail” in a plastic snow saucer.
“Halfway down the slide, the juvenile got caught in accumulated snow and attempted to free himself,” according to a police statement. “During this time, he slipped and fell approximately 35 feet to the ground.”
It was the boy’s first time being in the snow and cold, Hardman said.
A 10:22 p.m. emergency call dispatched Dells-Delton EMS paramedics and Lake Delton police to the scene.
Efforts to resuscitate the boy were unsuccessful, according to Lake Delton EMS Director Janene Clark.
The boy’s family were guests at the park and were on scene shortly after the incident.
“There was nothing the resort could have done to prevent it,” said Hardman, who was besieged by news media from across the state Thursday in the wake of the accident. “It was a 7-foot locked fence, and it could have been 10 feet tall and the kids were athletic enough to scale the fence.”
One of the boy’s friends called 911 “right away” after the fall, Hardman said, and a Dells-Delton EMS deputy chief in the vicinity was almost immediately on the scene and attempting life-saving measures, followed by other paramedics and Lake Delton police officers.
“They did what they could do, but the injuries were substantial,” Hardman said.
The Lake Delton Fire Department was dispatched to the scene to prepare a landing spot for UW Med Flight, according to Fire Chief Darren Jorgenson, but the firefighters and the flight were called back because the boy had died.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.