Glenwood Caverns ride girl died on passed inspections, in compliance with regulations, state says

Posted at 3:54 PM, Sep 07, 2021

DENVER – The ride at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park that a 6-year-old girl was killed on Sunday evening was most recently inspected by a third party in June, and it has been in compliance with all regulations and passed all third-party inspections since it became operational in 2017, according to the state.

Investigators from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment’s Division of Oil and Public Safety were at the adventure park Tuesday conducting the investigation alongside the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office and city of Glenwood Springs. The division regulates amusement park rides and leads accident investigations.

MORE: Glenwood Caverns incident one of at least a dozen in recreational settings across Colorado since 2010

The investigation will look at the current condition of the Haunted Mine Drop ride on which the 6-year-old Colorado Springs girl was killed over the weekend. According to Colorado Department of Labor Deputy Executive Director Cher Haavind, the investigators will also look at inspector’s observations and notes from prior safety inspections and interviews with the people involved.

Haavind said the investigation could take days to weeks.

“Because there are many things to cover in such a thorough investigation, the Department of Labor and Employment anticipates that the investigation could take several days or perhaps even weeks,” she said. “We will be interviewing many parties involved, such as inspectors, operators, patrons, manufacturers, etc., and will issue a full report with our findings after the investigation is complete.”

The park said after the incident, employees rendered aid to the girl until paramedics arrived and determined she had died. The park was closed Monday and Tuesday. It's set to reopen Wednesday.

According to the park, the Haunted Mine Drop is the "first drop ride in the world to go underground, plunging riders 110 feet inside the dark depths of Iron Mountain in what feels like a free-fall." Riders wear a seatbelt, but their shoulders are not restrained.

Haavind said the CDLE and the Division of Oil and Public Safety could not comment further because of the ongoing investigation.

“Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with the victim’s family at this time,” she said.

The Garfield County Coroner’s Office had not released the girl’s name as of Tuesday afternoon and said Monday an autopsy was scheduled with a forensic pathologist for this week. By Tuesday evening, the coroner's office confirmed the forensic pathologist identified multiple blunt force traumas, but said final cause and manner of death are pending the completion of the full investigation.