Dawn Jankovic, a 47-year-old Ohio mom of one, tore an artery and suffered internal bleeding while on a Indiana theme park roller coaster
A 47-year-old woman who mysteriously died after riding an Indiana roller coaster last month tore an artery and suffered internal bleeding, according to an autopsy released Wednesday.
Dawn Jankovic, an Ohio mom of one, was found unresponsive next to her 17-year-old son on ‘The Voyage’ ride in Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari theme park in Santa Claus on June 4 and later died in the hospital.
It wasn’t clear how she died until Wednesday, when the Dubois County, Indiana coroner listed three causes of death: severe internal blood loss, the tearing of an artery, and force from the roller coaster, according to The Indianapolis Star.
Her son Gunnar Merker and his dad Gary Merker told Fox 8 a couple days after Jankovic’s death that the mom-son duo were roller coaster enthusiasts and loved going to amusement parks.
‘They go all over the place to different amusement parks, that was their thing and yeah, they’d been on it before,’ Gary said. ‘I just don’t know what happened this time.’
Gunnar said his mom was ‘was fine, the whole entire day.’
Gunner Merker, 17, and his mom were roller coaster enthusiasts
Jankovic’s death was ruled an accident. She leaves behind a teenage son
This is Jankovic and her son Gunnar on ‘The Voyage’ but it’s not clear if this is the date or time when Jankovic suffered the torn artery
The Dubois County, Indiana coroner said ‘The Voyage’ ride in in Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari theme park functioned as intended. ‘It was just a reaction her body had from riding the ride,’ the coroner told The Indianapolis Star
She suffered severe internal blood loss from the artery tear, which is located on the outside of the back of a rib cage.
The normal force of the rollercoaster caused the tear, not any problem with the ride itself, the Dubois County Coroner Katie Schuck told The Indianapolis Star.
Although ‘amusement park rollercoaster’ is listed as a third cause of death, it wasn’t a contributing factor.
‘It was just a reaction her body had from riding the ride,’ Schuck told the newspaper. ‘It had nothing to do with a malfunction or anything, as far as safety and that type of thing.’
Her death was ruled an accident.
HOW DOES A ROLLER COASTER CAUSE AN ARTERY TO TEAR?
By Mary Kekatos, Acting U.S. Health Editor for DailyMail.com
An Ohio woman has died after suffering fatal injuries while riding a rollercoaster at Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari in Santa Claus, Indiana.
The Dubois County Coroner determined her caused of death to be exsanguination, avulsion of the right internal thoracic artery and amusement park rollercoaster.
So how can a roller coast cause an artery to tear?
The internal thoracic artery (ITA), also known as the internal mammary artery, is supplies the chest wall and the breasts with blood from the heart.
It is is paired, meaning there is one on the left side of the body and one on the right.
They start from the clavicle – near the neck – and travel down the rib cage and sternum, before ending by the oblique muscles.
When riding a rollercoaster, humans are often being subjected to incredible amounts of G-force, a measure of acceleration.
Rollercoasters can generate force up to 4Gs, which is equivalent to humans accelerating at 87 miles per hour per second, and similar to the G-force experienced by drag racers.
In rare cases, riding a rollercoaster can cause serious injuries.
The repetitive forces of acceleration and deceleration along with the vigorous jerking of the neck – especially if a rider is not properly secured – can lead to a torn artery (also known as avulsion).
A very slight tear to the artery can heal on its own without being surgically repaired.
However, if the tear is massive, this can lead to exsanguination, or a severe loss of blood, which – if not treated immediately – can result in death.
Matt Eckert, Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari President and CEO said in an emailed statement to DailyMail.com that the amusement park’s 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.’
‘I feel bad, this kid witnessed everything and he was there by himself before I could actually get to him,’ Gary told Fox 8.
Her son said, ‘She was a hard-working mom, she tried her best to support me in all different ways.’
Her son started a GoFundMe after his mom’s death and said, ‘RIP Mom you will be missed by your family members, the coaster community and me your son.’
They raised over $12,000 as of July 8.
Gunnar said his mom was ‘loving’ and ‘hard-working.’ ‘She tried her best to support me in all different ways’
Jankovic’s son, Gunnar Merker, said in a GoFundMe, ‘RIP Mom you will be missed by your family members, the coaster community and me your son’
The theme park said after her death that it inspected the ride and found no malfunctions
The theme park said in a June 5 Facebook post said the ride operated as it was intended to after staff inspected the ride, but it remained closed the evening after her death ‘out of respect for the family.’