Posted Saturday, November 20, 2010 3:03 PM | Contributed by Jeff
After a months-long investigation into how 21-year-old Lindsay Zeno fell to her death while riding a roller coaster, the State Fire Marshal's Office announced Friday that they could not determine the cause of the incident. Zeno fell 30 feet to her death July 11 while riding the Xtreme Coaster at Dixie Landin' in Baton Rouge.
Read more from The Advertiser.
A minor correction on the text of the article: The article states that the ride was inspected by the National Association of Amusement Ride Safety Officials and by the Fire Marshall's office. This is incorrect, as the National Association of Amusement Ride Safety Officials (hereafter NAARSO) does not conduct ride inspections. NAARSO is, as its name implies, an association, which happens to also offer inspector training and certification. It appears that Louisiana requires all rides to be inspected by the office of the Fire Marshall or by a third-party inspector qualified by the office of the Fire Marshall before they are permitted to operate; and further, the Fire Marshall's office is required to perform a single inspection at some time during the event, or during the season in the case of a fixed park. I couldn't find any reference to it in a quick read of the statute, but it is very likely that NAARSO certification is used as a means of qualifying third party inspectors.
--Dave Althoff, Jr.
i just wonder if maybe she fell because of the opperators maybe not doin their job and making sure everything was set right (the lap bars)before the ride started. then again i don't think anyone knows enough about this to make that true or not. i don't think this will ever be figured out
That's kind of the point; the results of the forensic investigation were that they couldn't find anything wrong with the ride, so there really is no known reason why this rider came out.
I think that's particularly interesting, given that there has been a service bulletin on that coaster car model which required special inspection of the lap bar ratchets. But the outcome of this investigation seems to suggest that the lap bar ratchets and the locking pawls on the coaster car involved in the incident met the manufacturer's specifications.
Personally, I find it a little disturbing that we have no idea how a passenger managed to come out of this ride. That makes it pretty difficult to come up with any guidelines, methods, techniques, or modifications to keep it from happening again. I haven't ridden the Dixie Landin' coaster, but I have ridden that model of coaster in other parks, and absent a mechanical failure, I just plain don't get it. You sit in the seat with your knees up, which means the lower body is both pinned and wedged...there is no slipping out from under this lap bar... ?!
--Dave Althoff, Jr.
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