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Coroner: Ohio woman found unresponsive at Holiday World has died; son remembers her

Updated: Jun. 5, 2021 at 5:48 PM CDT
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SANTA CLAUS, Ind. (WFIE) - The Dubois County Coroner confirmed a woman who was found unresponsive on a rollercoaster at Holiday World has died.

Holiday World officials say the woman was riding the Voyage Wooden Roller Coaster. They say when the ride returned to the station, the woman was unresponsive.

Coroner Katie Schuck identified the woman as 47-year-old Dawn Jankovic of Brunswick, Ohio.

Jankovic’s son, 17-year-old Gunnar Merker, says he grew up doing everything fun with his mom. From Ohio, they would travel around the midwest looking for new roller coasters.

“She did everything for me. We always went to fun places, roller coasters, water parks, we always went,” said Merker. “We always traveled to different places like that. It was really fun. She was a fun mom.”

Their trip to Holiday World Saturday was one of those places.

“I didn’t realize till halfway through the ride that she was unconscious.”

Merker says Holiday World EMTs quickly worked to take her to the medical tent.

The coroner says Jankovic died at Memorial Hospital in Jasper.

“I was in shock,” Merker shared.

Merker says his mom didn’t have any serious health conditions he knew of, that she was just a fun mom.

“She was there for everyone and always cared for people when they needed it,” Merker said.

Holiday World officials say both their team and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security have done full inspections on the ride. Both say it’s good to go and working how it should be.

The Dubois County Coroner says autopsy results should be coming in a couple of weeks.

Merker has started a GoFundMe to help with funeral expenses.

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