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Victim in StarFlyer accident made sure harness was secure before fatal fall, witness says

Coworker heard noise before victim fell

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – A witness says the victim in a fatal fall while maintaining the StarFlyer ride checked to make sure his harness was secure and was a “stickler” about being tied off completely before climbing, according to a report from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

Jacob David Kaminsky, 21, was conducting a daily safety check on the International Drive tourist attraction at about 7:40 a.m. Monday when he fell from about halfway up the 450-foot swing ride.

An employee who was working with Kaminsky said they’d nearly completed their inspection and they were going to head back down to the ground level with Kaminsky going down first. At that point, records show they were about 200 feet from the ground on the ladder within the tower.

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“He stated Jake ensured his harness equipment was secured, prior to making his way down. (The witness) stated several times that Jake’s fall arrester was secure prior to climbing down,” the report read.

The man said he was 10 to 15 feet above Kaminsky when he heard a noise, looked down and saw Kaminsky hit a crossbeam and fall downward.

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Deputies said the witness added during the interview that Kaminsky was a “stickler” about being tied off completely before he climbed down.

Ride officials said they’re cooperating with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and deputies in the investigation.

Safety inspection records from the Florida Department of Agriculture show there is not a history of prior violations although officials said there was a 2018 communication deficiency involving a seat release, which was later corrected.


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