Feds fine Hauser corn maze $14,000 for teen's death

A North Idaho corn maze is being fined $14,000 in connection with the death of a Spokane valley teenager.

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho-- Federal authorities have fined a northern Idaho business $14,000 following the death of a Spokane Valley teenager killed while working at a Halloween attraction.

Eighteen-year-old Jeremy T. McSpadden Jr., died October 10, while playing the role of a zombie at the Incredible Corn Maze in Hauser, Idaho, when he tripped and fell under a moving bus.

PREVIOUS: Investigation for N. Idaho corn maze death in final stages.

Witnesses said he was dressed as a zombie when he emerged from his hiding place and ran toward a modified school bus carrying paintball players. Witnesses said he tripped and fell in front of the rear tires and got run over.

Kootenai County authorities told KREM 2 News that there was never anything to warrant criminal charges after Jeremy was killed. But the Occupational Safety and Health Administration said it is the responsibility of every workplace to provide a safe atmosphere for employees.

Dozens of teens, like Jeremy McSpadden, were hired to act as zombies, earning $50 for each night of work.

But a newly-released report from Idaho's Department of Labor, stated that the corn maze did not provide a place of employment free of recognized hazards that could cause death and or serious physical harm.

OSHA's Citation Report said employees were exposed to tripping and struck-by hazards when dressed in full costume. It also said employees "approached moving buses on dirt ground that was uneven, rutted, and littered with props and debris, all of which contributed to the potential trip."

INITIAL REPORT: Teen working at N. Idaho corn maze killed by bus.

OSHA also said employees were never trained on how to clear their safety goggles of fog or paint out in the field.

The report proposed fines of $7,000 for each "serious" violation. The Incredible Corn Maze was fined for two violations totaling $14,000 in penalties.

The company is also required to show proof of corrected changes in order to keep similar incidents from happening again. Even though the Incredible Corn Maze has not said if it has any intention on bringing the paintball bus back.

Federal officials cited NW Creative Solutions, LLC, which operated the Incredible Corn Maze, for three serious violations.

The corn maze can still contest these findings.


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