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Police report says injured teen may have been drinking

June 12, 1998|By LISA GRAYBEAL

A Hagerstown teenager who fell from a carnival ride at the Longmeadow-Maugansville Fire Co. carnival this week may have been drinking earlier that day, according to a report by Hagerstown City Police.

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Corey Lynn Domer, 16, was injured Monday night when she fell from the Scat ride and flew 26 feet in the air before landing on an aluminum awning, which collapsed on impact, police reports have said.

Four people who were standing beneath the awning were treated at Washington County Hospital for neck and back injuries and released.

Interviewed at a Wyoming Avenue home on Thursday, a day after being released from Washington County Hospital, Corey Domer sat on the sofa and held a cloth to her mouth.

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Her upper and lower jaws were broken in three places and will be wired together for at least six weeks, said her father, Michael Domer.

The honor student who next year will be a senior at South Hagerstown High School also broke her upper teeth in the accident.

She received approximately seven stitches on her right arm and another seven stitches on her chin.

Domer cannot speak and she can eat only whatever she can suck through a straw or can squeeze into her mouth from what looks like a large eye dropper.

"I'm just thankful she's even alive," said her mother, Brenda Domer.

During an interview Thursday with Officer Richard Moats of Hagerstown City Police, at which her mother was not present, Corey Domer said that on Monday night before going to the carnival, she and her friends drank beer at the home she shares with her father on View Street, the police report alleged.

An earlier police report alleged that Corey's mother, Brenda Domer, told police at the hospital after the accident Monday that her daughter had told her she had been drinking "some type of alcoholic beverages possibly mixed with other drugs" before the accident.

"I never made such a statement," Brenda Domer said in an interview Thursday.

She said she told Moats at the hospital only that her daughter was being tested for alcohol and drugs.

She said Thursday she has not seen any test results.

Police in the earlier report said Brenda Domer said that it was the last day of school and her daughter might have been celebrating.

"She's never had a drink around me," Brenda Domer said on Thursday.

Michael Domer said his daughter does not even like the smell of beer.

Corey Domer told Moats Thursday that she did not take any drugs other than alcohol, "but the tests taken at the hospital indicated the presence of 'acid,'" the police report alleged.

No charges have been filed.

The police report states that Corey Domer told Moats that she and two of her friends were let onto the Scat ride without tickets.

Once she was on the ride, Domer said it seemed to be going very fast and gaining speed, the report said.

The report quoted Domer as saying the alcohol might have contributed to her increased feeling of speed.

As the ride went faster, she had the sensation of slipping up the back of the ride and of her head going above the top of the ride, the report said.

Domer said she tried to hold on to the side bar and wrapped her leg around the bar but continued to travel up the back of the ride, the report said.

Domer said the next thing she remembered was being surrounded by several people, the report said.

An inspector with the Maryland Department of Labor and Industry said Tuesday that there were no deficiencies in the Scat ride.

The safety belt that had been secured around Domer's waist was still hooked Monday night when the Scat came to a halt moments after she was ejected, Salvatore Sapienza said Tuesday.

Sapienza said he had inspected the Scat and all of the other rides at the carnival Monday morning at the Long Meadow Shopping Center's parking lot. He said he found all the rides to be operating properly.

Domer's parents said they weren't placing blame and have no intention of bringing a lawsuit against Winchester Amusement Inc., the company that provided the rides for the week-long carnival.

The Scat ride may reopen today if it's determined that all investigations by police, inspectors, and insurance company representatives are complete, said David Baer, a Maugansville firefighter and carnival chairman.

All of the rides are closed when it rains.

The fire companies have held the week-long fund raising carnival at Long Meadow Shopping Center for the past 10 years without incident, Baer said.

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