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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 January 2006, 16:16 GMT
No charges over theme park death
Hayley Williams
Hayley Williams died at Oakwood Theme Park in April 2004
There will be no criminal prosecutions over the death of a teenager who fell from a ride at a west Wales theme park, the Crown Prosecution Service has said.

Hayley Williams, 16, from Pontypool, fell from the Hydro ride at Oakwood Theme Park in Pembrokeshire in 2004.

A Health and Safety Executive inquiry is continuing and a coroner's inquest will now take place on Hayley's death.

Oakwood said it had co-operated with the 21-month investigation and said the decision not to prosecute was "right".

Hayley died after falling 100ft from the Hydro ride on 15 April, 2004 during a day out at the park with her mother and sister.

The 121ft Hydro ride, opened in June 2002, is described by Oakwood as "Europe's fastest and wettest" water-coaster.

'Fully co-operated'

Its 24-seater boat drops down a near-vertical chute into a plunge pool at 50mph.

The ride was closed after Hayley's death but reopened in March 2005.

The Hydro ride at Oakwood was closed for nearly a year after the accident

Managers said following changes recommended by the Health and Safety Executive, the ride, was "absolutely foolproof and fail safe".

Oakwood attracts more than 400,000 visitors every year and is among the 10 most popular UK theme parks.

The theme park issued a statement on Thursday which said: "We have always had the very highest quality standards and procedures at Oakwood and fully co-operated with the investigation.

"We therefore feel that the decision by the Crown Prosecution Service not to prosecute is the right decision.

"Our thoughts, as always, are with the family at this difficult time."

'No prosecutions'

A statement issued jointly by Dyfed-Powys Police, the CPS and Pembrokeshire coroner Michael Howells said the inquest into Hayley's death would take place at the earliest opportunity.

The statement added: "Following a 21-month investigation into the sudden death of Hayley Liane Williams...the Crown Prosecution Service have advised the Dyfed-Powys Police that there will be no criminal prosecutions in relation to the incident.

"The next-of-kin have been informed of this decision as well as appropriate parties within the police investigation."

A spokesman for the Health and Safety Executive in Wales said: "Our investigation will now continue and it could last any length of time.

"These investigations are very thorough and there is no particular time scale.

"At the end of this investigation, the HSE will make a decision as to what the next step will be."

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