Amusement parks are very popular during the hot summer months and the rides are typically safe. However, tragic accidents do occasionally occur. A Texas mother was recently killed after falling from the Texas Giant roller coaster at the Six Flags in Arlington. While her death is believed to be an accident, many officials are on the case to determine what exactly caused this tragedy. Someone in the family has reported that the woman’s family has a lawyer. It is likely that there will be a wrongful death suit against Six Flags.
The incident occurred when the woman fell from one of the ride’s cars as it rounded a turn. One witness said that the woman was worried that her safety restraint was not secured but that a Six Flags employee told her that it was fine. The witness also said that there was a concern about the number of times the bar clicked when it was lowered, but the manufacturer of the bars said that there would be no clicking sound in that type of system.
The ride investigator says that roller coasters generally have a standard safety bar designed for people who weigh 180 pounds. A person’s weight will determine how far the bar should be from the starting position. Employees are supposed to be trained to make sure that the bar is in a safe position for each rider. The Six Flags employee who checked the woman’s safety restraint may not have considered this.
The police will not conduct a lengthy investigation since there is currently no evidence of a crime. This leaves the Six Flags staff, insurance company, ride manufacturers and inspectors to determine the cause of the accident. Six Flags has a duty to its guests to make sure that their rides meet the proper safety standards and that the park’s employees are trained to uphold these standards.
This is the second death to occur on a ride since the park opened over 50 years ago, but there have been 110 injuries reported to the state since 2008. Many of these injuries do not get public attention. If a wrongful death lawsuit is filed and Six Flags is found to be negligent, the case will draw some attention to the issue of amusement park safety.
Source: Dallas News, “Investigation of Texas Giant accident to be led by Six Flags,” Brandon Formby and Jeff Mosier, July 20, 2013