July 25, 2007
Update on Rye Playland: Operator Knew Victim Wasn't Restrained
...that's the reported conclusion of the investigation.
Multiple witnesses saw Garin — who was supposed to be staffing a secondary safety booth installed after the 2004 death — kneeling backward in her seat and swaying her arms to the Mind Scrambler's music before her fatal ride, according to yesterday's report. Playland rules prohibit employees from riding the amusements while on duty.
Belfiore said the ride operator and an off-duty park worker who was on the Mind Scrambler both yelled at Garin to sit down.
Belfiore said accounts from 11 eyewitness riders were remarkably consistent and were contradicted only by the operator. The teen, who had worked at Playland for about 18 months, gave inconsistent accounts during three interviews, Belfiore said.
"It would be difficult to believe that the ride operator did not know that Miss Garin was in the ride and not secured," Belfiore said.
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