Wednesday, Oct 17, 2018
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Heart condition killed park rider

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The 38-year-old Toledo man who died after riding a roller coaster at Kings Island in August was suffering chest pain before he got on the coaster, according to investigators' interviews in their completed report.

An amusement park employee told Ohio Department of Agriculture investigators that children at the park with Homer Shields III said his chest "was hurting before the ride."

But park employees also said Mr. Shields was smiling and laughing before the ride, but when it came back he was motionless and had blood on his face.

On Aug. 8 employees observed him slumped in the seat of the Firehawk roller coaster when it stopped.

He was taken to a Mason, Ohio, hospital, where he died.

His death was ruled natural by the Hamilton County Coroner's Office and the cause of death was a heart condition, specifically "cardiac tamponade due to aortic dissection," according to a report from the agriculture department, which oversees amusement park safety.

The ride was immediately closed and inspected the next day, when it reopened after it was found to be in good working order.

Investigators spoke with several park employees on the job at the time of the incident and with Mr. Shields' family.

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