MARIETTA, Ga. -- An 11-year-old boy who collapsed while riding a roller coaster at the Six Flags Over Georgia amusement park died of a 'seizure-like disorder,' a medical examiner ruled.
Associate Medical Examiner Wayne Ross said Tuesday the two-minute ride on the 'Z-Force' roller coaster on July 17 apparently aggravated William 'Brett' Pope's underlying and previously undiagnosed condition.
'We do feel the ride contributed to his death,' Ross said. 'Somehow, I feel that the ride through the acceleration or the G-forces, lowered his seizure threshold.'
The doctor added, however, that the ruling does not mean that the ride is dangerous to people in good health.
Ross said his month-long investigation revealed two previous 'suspicious' medical incidents in the boy's past, including a near drowning last year, that may constitute a pattern of similar episodes.
The boy's father, Ronald Pope of Talladega, Ala., rejected assetions that the past incidents contributed to his son's death.
'When he got on that ride he was a healthy boy,' he said.
Pope said, however, that he accepts the medical examiner's findings and is glad the investigation is over.