A church group from South Carolina was visiting the park for the day and according to a news report's account
, witnesses had originally claimed that 17-year-old Asia LeeShawn Ferguson IV and another teen from the church group, had hopped over two 6-foot security fences adorned with multiple danger and restricted area signs in order to retrieve a hat he had lost on the ride.
A report released
by police ruled out the initial witness claims and state that the boys were trying to take the shortest route possible to get to the roller coaster ride, called Batman The Ride
After jumping the fence, Ferguson was struck by the coaster during its maximum operating speed of around 50 mph. No one else was injured. An autopsy was performed on the young man and toxicology samples were been sent off, although drugs and alcohol are not being suspected in the case.
The coaster had been closed out of respect for the family and remained closed as of Monday after the Georgia Department of Labour took the ride out of service, according to a spokesperson. It was scheduled to reopen today once cleared by safety investigators. Also recommended was that more security personnel be placed around the danger zone as well as additional signs.
Six years ago, a park grounds keeper was killed by the same ride when he wandered into a restricted area while the ride was operating and was struck in the head by a rider's leg.