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Published: Tuesday, 12/23/2008

Unfastened harness blamed in woman's fatal fall

CINCINNATI A Sylvania woman s safety harness wasn t completely fastened when she suffered a fatal fall during a Christmas pageant last week, the Hamilton County coroner announced Tuesday.

Dr. O dell Owens said a small piece of tape and part of Keri Shryock s costume kept the clasp on the harness from locking.

He said Ms. Shryock fastened herself off stage in the dark and didn t realize there was a problem.

Ms. Shryock, a graduate student at Xavier University, fell about 25 feet during a pageant Dec. 17 at the Crossroads Community Church in Cincinnati. She died the following day at University Hospital.

Dr. Owens said the harness Ms. Shryock was using was made specifically for rock climbing, according to experts he interviewed.

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