October 9, 2006
Orlando -- A 12-year old who died after riding Disney's Rock 'N Roller Coaster in June had a genetic heart defect according to the final autopsy report released Friday.
Michael Russell of Fort Campbell, Kentucky had an abnormal aortic valve with only flaps instead of three. The report also said there was evidence of narrowing of the aorta. It is not uncommon for these types of defects to go undetected and they can cause heart failure at any moment.
According to reports, Russell stopped breathing while riding the roller coaster. The boy was limp when the coaster stopped to unload. His father attempted CPR, but was unable to revive him.
Disney immediately closed the ride, but after investigators found nothing wrong with the roller coaster it reopened. The report confirms that the roller coaster was not the cause of death.
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