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September 2, 2001

Knott's Roller Coaster Closed After Female Dies

Buena Park, CA -- Montezooma's Revenge at Knott's Berry Farm was closed Friday evening after a 25-year old woman died following a ride on the "shuttle loop" roller coaster.

According to reports a 25-year old female may have suffered a seizure while on the ride. Park medics and the Orange County fire department responded to the scene just after 7 p.m. where they treated her before transporting her to West Anaheim Medical Center, where she passed away early Saturday morning.

The Orange County coroner's office is investigating the cause of death, but as of yesterday had released a statement.

Knott's officials immediately suspended operation of the roller coaster Friday pending the outcome of an internal and state investigation. The park said that would reopen the coaster after the state completes their investigation and deems it safe to operate.

Officials from the state Department of Occupational Safety and Health were on scene Saturday to begin their investigation.

Montezooma's Revenge opened at Knott's Berry Farm in 1978. According to the park 44.5 million people have ridden the roller coaster and this is the first incident with this attraction involving a death.

Earlier this year 28-year old Pearl Santos died while riding the Goliath roller coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain. The coroner's investigation determined that the death was a result of a pre-existing brain aneurysm that ruptured while on the roller coaster. Goliath reopened ten days following the incident after the state declared the roller coaster safe and not the direct cause of death.