Autopsy released in woman’s death after rollercoaster at Holiday World

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DUBOIS CO, Ind (WEHT)– The Dubois County Coroner released the cause of death for Dawn Jankovic, the Ohio woman who was sent to the hospital in June after riding The Voyage rollercoaster at Holiday World. She died at Jasper Memorial Hospital.

According to Katie Schuck, the Dubois County Coroner, Jankovic’s cause of death is exsanguination, avulsion of the right internal thoracic artery, and an amusement park roller coaster. There is no contributing cause of death listed. This is being ruled an accidental death.

Dr. David Schultz says incidents like this are rare on rollercoasters, saying Jankovic’s death “just so happened” to be on a rollercoaster. Dr. Schultz notes that rollercoasters tend to increase the heart rate and blood pressure, adding more stress to a vessel and potentially leading to a rupture and severe bleeding. Dr. Schultz says people with certain conditions, like high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, degeneterative disk disease in the neck and lower back could increase the risk for some people.

Spencer County residents say they feel bad for Jankovic’s family, as well as the people operating the rides. Aeon Held says “there’s nothing to prepare” people for that situation.

Holiday World’s President released a statement after Jankovic’s cause of death was released.

“Our hearts continue to go out to Dawn’s family, friends, and all those impacted by her loss. The safety and well-being of our guests and team members is our number one concern every day. The park’s rides and attractions have delivered millions of safe and thrilling experiences throughout the years. Our vigilance in taking care of our guests as well as our team members can be counted on in everything we do.”

Matt Eckert, Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari President & CEO

Holiday World officials say a full inspection was performed on The Voyage, and it was determined the ride was operating as intended.

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