UPDATE: DSP say Felton woman's death at Bear zip line course was caused by multiple blunt force trauma by way of an accident
By DJ McAneny & Kelli Steele

Updated Friday, August 26, 2016 - 6:34am

WDEL file photo
Delaware State Police on Thursday released the identity of a 59-year-old woman who died after falling almost four stories off a zip lining course in Lums Pond State Park.

According to police, Tina Werner, of Felton, fell at approximately 2:35 p.m. Wednesday, August 24, 2016, at the Go Ape Aerial Rope Adventure Course in the park at 1068 Howell School Road in Bear.

An autopsy conducted Thursday by the Division of Forensic Sciences has ruled that the death of Tina Werner was caused by multiple blunt force trauma by way of an accident.

Authorities said Werner was standing on a platform 35' above the ground, waiting for her turn on the zip line, when she fell to the ground. According to the statement, witnesses say Werner had disconnected herself from the safety system when she fell.

First aid and "advanced life-saving efforts" were rendered, but Werner was pronounced dead at Christiana Hospital. An autopsy will be performed by the Division of Forensic Sciences.

In a post on social media, Werner's daughter Melissa Slater announced her mother's death and said it occurred while she was checking off an item on her bucket list.

Go Ape released a collective statement regarding Werner's death Thursday afternoon:

We are very saddened by the events from yesterday at our Lums Pond State Park location and feel deeply for the family and friends.

As well as carrying out our own thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident, we have already begun working with external agencies including the Delaware State Police. More than 6 million customers have undertaken Go Ape courses safely in compliance with American and European standards. Having undertaken our initial investigation, and having talked to witnesses to the incident, we can confirm that an adult participant attended our course at Lums Pond where she underwent training in the safe use of the course.

Having completed her training on how to remain attached to the safety system the participant proceeded onto the course and progressed to the final platform of site 4, towards the end of the activity, where she fell from the platform to the ground. Participant witnesses have stated that at the time of the accident the participant had unfortunately disconnected herself from the safety system.

We confirm that a full inspection of the course, with particular focus on the last platform at site 4, has been undertaken and all of the course and associated safety equipment was and remains in sound operational condition. Nothing was broken or unserviceable. Our course at Lums Pond is currently closed to guests as a mark of respect.

We would like to thank the State Police, our Park Partners and the emergency services for their prompt assistance. The thoughts and prayers of all of us remain with the family and friends.

- Go Ape



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