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home : news : news   May 24, 2016

12/26/2013 9:44:00 AM
Utica EMTs respond to Grand Bear amusement ride accident

Rachel Stella
Media Editor

Seven adults and children were transported to Illinois Valley Community Hospital in Peru on Christmas Eve after an accident of the “Demolition Derby” ride at Grizzly Jack’s Grand Bear Resort in Utica, according to Utica fire chief Ben Brown.

Brown called the incident, which happened at 8:15 p.m., “a minor ride accident” and said the victims had “minor injuries.” Ambulances from La Salle, Oglesby, Peru, Mendota, Ottawa and Marseilles took the victims to IVCH, Brown said.

The victims, ranging in age from 12 to 39, began arriving at IVCH shortly before 9 p.m. and were treated and released that night, said Gene Vogelgesang, IVCH public relations director.

Joseph Hook, acting general manager at Grizzly Jack’s Grand Bear Resort, told The Associated Press that the people reported aches after an unspecified malfunction of a tea cup ride in the hotel’s indoor amusement park. Hook says the amusement park remained open on Christmas, although the tea cup ride was closed so state inspectors and the fire marshal can try to figure out what went wrong.

Illinois Department of Labor is investigating the accident, Brown said.

Grand Bear officials had not responded to phone calls by press time today.

Rachel Stella can be reached at (815) 220-6933 or

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