Roller Coaster Reopening 2 Months After Texas Woman Fell To Death

Image: Roller Coaster Reopening 2 Months After Texas Woman Fell To Death

Thursday, 12 Sep 2013 08:43 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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A roller coaster at a Six Flags theme park in Texas will reopen this weekend, nearly two months after a woman fell to her death when she was tossed from the ride.

Rosa Esparza, 52, was ejected from the Texas Giant roller coaster at Six Flags Over Texas July 19 as the car she was sitting in descended the ride's first hill. She died after falling an estimated 75 feet.

Six Flags and Gerstlauer Amusement Rides, the German manufacturer of the Giant's cars, immediately launched investigations and the ride was closed indefinitely.

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Now, Six Flags has announced that it has ruled out mechanical failure as a factor in Esparza's death, according to NBC Dallas-Fort Worth. The Giant will reopen this weekend with new safety measures, including redesigned restraints and new seat belts. The ride previously only had a lap bar.

But Esparza's family isn’t about to back down. They filed a wrongful death civil suit Tuesday claiming that the park knew the ride was defective. The suit seeks more than $1 million in damages, according to NBC.

"As Rosa Esparza's tragic death starkly illustrates, errors on the part of the Six Flags Defendants turned a thrilling illusion into a nightmarish reality," the lawsuit says. "Customers of the park expect mock scares and delighted screams as they ride the Texas Giant roller coaster, but they certainly do not expect to be placed in any real danger, whatsoever."

Six Flags Over Texas declined to comment, citing pending litigation, but did send out its sympathies to Esparza's family.

"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," Steve Martindale, park president, said in a 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."

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Related stories:

California Roller Coaster Screams Exceed Decibel Level

Wrecked by Sandy, Jet Star Roller Coaster Removed at Jersey Shore  

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