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Colorado fines Glenwood Caverns park $68,000 in girl's death

The state agency that licenses amusement park rides slapped $68,000 in fines against Glenwood Caverns, where a 6-year-old girl was killed over Labor Day weekend.

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. — The state agency that licenses amusement park rides on Wednesday slapped $68,000 in fines against the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, where a 6-year-old Colorado Springs girl was killed over Labor Day weekend.

Additionally, the Colorado Division of Oil and Public Safety’s amusement rides and devices program ordered the Haunted Mine Drop ride where Wongel Estifanos died to remain padlocked until it is re-inspected and employees have been properly trained to operate it, according to a copy of the order obtained by The Gazette.

The fines are the largest assessed by the agency for at least a decade and follow an extensive investigation into Estifanos’ death on Sept. 5. She died after plummeting more than 100 feet in the makeshift mine shaft because she wasn’t properly belted into her seat. Garfield County prosecutors have said they are reviewing possible criminal charges in connection with the death.

Investigators determined two different employees — a wrongful death lawsuit filed Wednesday by the family identifies them as Toby Williams and Steve Ochoa — failed to notice the girl was sitting on the two safety belts when they overrode a security system warning of a problem and sent the ride on its fatal plunge.

> Read the full story at denvergazette.com.

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