Six Flags Death of Woman Falling From Roller Coaster Investigated

Image: Six Flags Death of Woman Falling From Roller Coaster Investigated

Monday, 22 Jul 2013 07:21 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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The Six Flags Over Texas roller coaster death of a 52-year-old woman remained under investigation Monday as the German firm that built the ride will inspect it this week.

The Texas Giant will remain closed until Six Flags finishes its inquiry into the woman's roller coaster death, the Dallas Morning News reported. Gerstlauer Amusement Rides, the German firm that manufactured The Texas Giant’s cars, will have inspectors at the park this week.

Tobias Lindnar, a project manager for Gerstlauer Amusement Rides in Munsterhausen, Germany, told the newspaper that the company had never had problems with car safety bars on any of the roller coasters it has built in more than 30 years.

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WFAA-TV reported that Rosy Esparza was killed Friday when she fell from one of the roller coaster's cars. The Tarrant County medical examiner’s office had not announced Esparza's cause of death as of Sunday. Roller coaster engineer Frank Johnson told WFAA that an investigation to find out what happened could take weeks.

Arlington police Sgt. Christopher Cook told The Associated Press that authorities ruled out foul play in the accident. Cook said the Texas Department of Insurance, which approves amusement rides and ensures they are inspected, will conduct a separate investigation into the accident.

The AP reported The Texas Giant had been cleared by inspectors through February, 2014.

It was the second time since 1961 that a person has died from a ride at the park, reported the Morning News. The park had its only other fatality in 1999 at its Roaring Rapids water ride. An Arkansas woman drowned and 10 others were injured then when one of the ride's rafts turned over.

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The newspaper quoted state insurance department figures that showed it has received dozens of rider injury reports from Six Flags since last summer. The Morning News reported out of the 15 lawsuits filed against Six Flags in Tarrant County over the past five years, only two involved thrill rides like roller coasters.

The AP said The Texas Giant first opened in 1990 and underwent a $10 million renovation to install steel-hybrid rails and reopened in 2011. AP stated it can carry up to 24 riders.

Related stories:

Roller Coaster Closed After Scream Exceeded Decibel Limit


Jet Star Rollercoaster Wrecked by Sandy Removed From Jersey Shore


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