Teen injured in amusement park accident released from hospital

By BRETT BARROUQUERE Associated Press Writer

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A Louisville teenager has been released from a Tennessee hospital, three weeks after her feet were cut off in an amusement park accident.

Kaitlyn Lasitter, 13, was discharged Saturday from Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tenn., the hospital said in a written statement on behalf of the girl's family.

"With her discharge from the hospital, Kaitlyn has completed only the first step in her long journey toward recovery," said Vanderbilt University Medical Center spokesman John Howser.

"Kaitlyn and her parents are still facing many challenges ahead."

Doctors at the hospital reattached Lasitter's right foot, according to a family statement released earlier this month.

Doctors were unable to save her left foot. The statement did not say where Lasitter will undergo rehabilitation or if the family would return home to Louisville.

A message left for Larry Franklin, an attorney who represents the Lasitter family, was not immediately returned Saturday.

Carolyn McLean, a spokeswoman for Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom, said representatives of the park have tried to contact Lasitter's family several times while she was in the hospital and will renew those efforts now that she has been released.

"We hope to contact them soon," McLean said Saturday. Lasitter was injured June 21, when a cable broke on the Superman Tower of Power ride at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom.

State investigators have been trying to determine what caused the cable to break. Investigators were taking written statements from witnesses, reviewing statements and analyzing physical evidence and photographs of the scene.

Lasitter's parents, Randall and Monique Lasitter, sued Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom in Jefferson County Circuit Court on Thursday and are asking a judge to order the park not to destroy the cable that investigators believe tore off the girl's feet.

The lawsuit claims the park failed to maintain the equipment and ensure riders' safety.

Carolyn McLean, a spokeswoman for Kentucky Kingdom, said she had not reviewed the lawsuit and declined to comment Friday.

Ted Sloan, a spokesman for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, which inspects amusement park rides, said the investigation into the accident is continuing.

The ride lifts passengers 177 feet straight up, then drops them nearly the same distance at speeds reaching 54 miles per hour.

The accident caused Six Flags to shut down similar rides at parks in several states.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)