BRUNSWICK, OH (WJW) – Zorata Jankovic loved her family, was a big fan of rock music and enjoyed the thrill of amusement parks.
Now the family of a woman from northeastern Ohio who died after riding a roller coaster is remembering her life spirit as she waits for answers.
“She was a loving mother … She loved going to different places, parks and all that,” said Gunnar Merker, her 17-year-old son.
Merker, who spoke to FOX 8 on the phone Monday with his father, said his mother loved amusement parks, especially trains.
“It was good all day,”
“The only thing we know right now is … They came up and you know that at one point she lost consciousness,” said Gary Merker, the teenager’s father.
On Friday, Dawn and Gunnar embarked on a mother-son trip to Holiday World and Splashin ‘Safari in South Indiana. They boarded The Voyage, a wooden roller coaster ride on which they had both been many times before.
“Both he and she are roller coaster enthusiasts … They travel all over the place in various amusement parks. That was their thing and yes, they had been involved before … I just don’t know what happened this time, “said Gary Merker.
Gunnar said he was sitting next to his mother at an amusement park when she suddenly fainted during the trip. Jankovic was taken to a local hospital, where he later died.
“I feel bad. This child witnessed everything and was there alone before I actually got to him,” said Gary Merker.
“She was a hard-working mother … She tried her best to support me in all sorts of ways,” she said.
The teenager said his family and Jankovic’s friends were helping him cope with the loss. He said his mother likes to go to rock concerts and support local musicians. Now many of them show their love and support for her family.
“A very, very sweet man, caring … Her son was her life,” said the boy’s father.
Jankovic’s family created a GoFundMe page to raise $ 4,000. By Monday night, donations had doubled that amount.
“We’re trying to transfer her back from Indiana to Ohio, which costs a little money … Then we’ll have two funeral services … One in Pennsylvania and the other in Ohio,” her son said.
Jankovic is a native of Pennsylvania, but moved to Ohio a few years ago.
Meanwhile, a forensic doctor in Dubois County, Indiana, where the amusement park is located, said it could be four to six weeks before she found out the exact cause of death.
Amusement park officials said the trip was inspected and found to be working properly. They said it was temporarily closed until the end of Friday night out of respect for what happened.
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