Since there seems to be a bit of misinformation and mystery floating about with regard to Colete Contois' death and the accident, I hope some of the following information helps clear it up. I have talked to the Contois family, mostly through a mutual friend, this is what I learned:
The Contois family decided to take their son to play paintball for his 10th birthday party. After a day of paintball at a comercial field, the accident occurred at the end of the day as everyone was preparing to leave. Apparently the boy who's tank malfunctioned was not associated with the birthday party and the family does not know him. He was a walk-on who owned his own equipment and was 15 or 16 (I've heard both). The people attending the birthday party rented their gear from ROA paintball, where they played.
I have also been in contact with Glenn Palmer, who is helping out with the ASTM safety committee investigation. Here is what he had to say about his inspection of the equipment and sheriff's photos:
'The only thing that I saw wrong with any of the hardware was: There were no signs that the valve had been tightened sufficiently into the tank
and there was no sign of chemical bonding materials having been used at the last installation of the valve. However, the Safety vent hole in valve neck was plugged with an unknown substance.
Another contributing factor was that the anti-siphon tube was installed in such a way as to require that the tank/valve be tightened fully into the ASA to put the tube in the appropriate position.
IMHO, the hardware itself is not the issue but the handling of it is.
Apparently, the complete rig was bought off of the internet. As is.
Sheriff's dept. investigation not yet complete and there has bee no word about who may have done the anti-siphon modification.
That's about all I have on it at this time.'
As you can see ROA did not own the equipment nor sell or install the tank or valve, as many have claimed, as it was purchased from the internet. So please don't call for them to be prosecuted as many here have.
What exactly will unfold from this incident is still unknown, and only time will tell.