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Local school mourns death of teacher at Cedar Point, ride re-opens Friday

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LOUISVILLE, Ohio - A Stark County school is offering counseling on Friday after one of its teachers was killed in an accident at Cedar Point Amusement Park.

Police in Sandusky said 45-year-old James Young of East Canton died after jumping a fence to retrieve some of his belongings. They had fallen while Young was riding the Raptor roller coaster.

Young was an Intervention Specialist for the 2014-2015 school years at the Louisville public schools. According to  Michele Shaffer, superintendent of the district, he worked with students that needed extra help in reading and math. Shaffer told Fox 8 Young loved working as an intervention specialist and that his passion was to be a guidance counselor, which is what he received his master’s degree in.

One of his goals as an educator was to experience that moment when he "sees a student accomplish what it is they wanted and knowing that he had a part in that." Shaffer added  she had heard he was about to start his dream job this year, although she wasn't sure exactly what the job was. She also expressed her deep sympathy to Young's family:

"There are no words that can truly express my condolences to his family. My heart is very heavy and our sympathy and thoughts are with them during this extremely difficult time."

Counselors will be available at the elementary school on Friday for anyone that needs assistance.

Park safety officials and rescue crews responded to the accident site beneath the roller coaster shortly before 5 p.m. Thursday. Sandusky police, along with Cedar Point police, are continuing the investigation into the accident, but believe that it was the coaster's train that hit Young. No one else was injured.

Cedar Point released a statement about the ride Friday morning:

"State safety officials examined the Raptor overnight and found it to be in safe working order.  Ride will be in operation today.

Safety is always our highest priority here at Cedar Point.  We will continue to vigilant in our efforts to provide an enjoyable and safe experience for all of our guests."

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