Cause of Dixie Landin' coaster fall undetermined
BATON ROUGE – The State Fire Marshal has found “no exact cause” for the accident that led to a Lafayette woman being killed after falling from a Baton Rouge roller coaster.
State Fire Marshal Butch Browning said since 21-year-old Lindsay Zeno was killed on July 11, investigators evaluated the entire ride including mechanical and electrical systems, as well as the behavior and actions of people on and around the ride.
One thing Browning noted was that Zeno was seated alone in the coaster’s car, which could have helped reach a more definite determination.
“Obviously we can never know precisely what actions Lindsay may have taken once the car left the loading point because she was killed in the accident. That would be important information which would ultimately help us understand what happened,” Browning said.
Zeno's family filed a lawsuit against the the Dixie Landin' amusement park, accusing them of not inspecting and maintaining the roller coaster properly. They also claim the locking mechanism wasn't secured to hold Zeno in her seat.
Browning said ride operators specifically recalled checking the lap bar in Zeno’s seat at two check points before the ride started, and didn’t note any problems. Witnesses that were around the car at the time of the accident also didn’t recall seeing Zeno attempt to adjust or otherwise manipulate the security bar that kept her in her seat.
Browning said they also brought in a ride accident expert from California to review the findings and evaluate the manufacture’s testing protocols. Neither Collins nor Fire Marshal investigators could come to a final decision as to how Lindsay fell from the ride while it was in motion.
The State Fire Marshal’s office will still require the ride to be modified to bring it up to compliance with current safety standards, and Browning noted that some of those steps were already underway before the accident occurred.