Police identify S.C. teen killed by roller coaster

A teenager struck and killed by a roller coaster at the Six Flags Over Georgia amusement park was identified Sunday.

Cobb County police identified the victim of the Saturday accident as Asia Leeshawn Ferguson IV, 17, of Springfield, S.C. He was visiting the park with his family and a group from Oakey Park Baptist Church in Salley, S.C.

The teenager's father told The (Columbia) State that his son was a happy-go-lucky young man who was always smiling.

“We still don't know what happened,” said Asia Ferguson, the father of the victim, as they returned to their church. “He was my oldest son. He was named after me. It's tragic.”

Cobb County police Sgt. Dana Pierce said the victim and a male companion apparently climbed a perimeter fence from a parking lot, then climbed a second fence surrounding the Batman roller coaster.

Six Flags said in a statement that an off-duty police officer witnessed the accident and summoned help. Park security and Cobb County emergency personnel arrived quickly, and the medical examiner confirmed that the victim was killed on impact, the statement said.

The park's statement said the areas the victim entered were clearly marked with signs stating “Restricted area-Authorized Personnel Only,” and “Danger Zone-Do Not Enter.”

Pierce said an autopsy would be conducted today. He said detectives believe the victim and his companion had left the park earlier in the day, then returned.

The Batman ride is expected to reopen today, the park's statement said.