Six Flags Roller Coaster Where Woman Died Reopens in Texas
(ARLINGTON, Texas) — A Six Flags roller coaster in Arlington, Texas, reopened this weekend two months after a woman was killed when she fell from the ride.
Last week the family of Rosa Esparanza, 52, filed suit against Six Flags, accusing the company of negligence.
Esparanza was riding the Texas Giant roller coaster with her daughter and son-in-law, when she fell. The ride reaches speeds of more than 60 mph and reaches the height of a 14-story building.
According to the lawsuit, after the incident, Six Flags replaced a “limit switch,” an indicator that shows the safety bar is in place, in the car Esparza was riding in. Amusement park staff “found the switch to be defective.”
Six Flags told ABC News earlier this week there was “no mechanical failure”
Frank Branson, the family’s attorney, told ABC News that Esparza’s daughter heard her mother’s screams for help.
“She heard screams behind her. She turned, as I understand it, to see her mother’s feet in the air. She turns back to tell her husband and turns around again and her mother was gone,” Branson said.
Branson also said it was unclear whether the lap restriant didn’t lock or if it wasn’t designed to hold in someone of Esparana’s size. The grandmother was 200 lbs and 5 foot 2 inches tall.
Esparza’s family has requested a trial by jury and is seeking compensation of at least $1 million.
Six Flags declined to comment specifically on the lawsuit.
“We are heartbroken and will forever feel the pain and sadness of this tragic accident. Our sincerest condolences go out to the family and friends of Ms. Esparza,” said Steve Martindale, park president of Six Flags Over Texas in a prepared statement. “The safety of our guests and employees is our company’s absolute highest priority and we try to take every reasonable precaution to eliminate the risk of accidents.”
The company said the Texas Giant rollercoaster has undergone extensive safety testing after the accident and will feature additional safety measures including new seatbelts and redesigned restraint bar pads. In addition, there will be a model seat at the front of the ride so that patrons can see if they will fit in the seat. Guests with “unique body shapes or sizes” may not fit on the seats.
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