Six Flags Denies Involvement in Roller Coaster Fatality
Recent court filing suggest Six Flags and the German firm Gerstlauer Amusement Rides have turned on one another, with each company alleging the other is responsible for the death of 52-year-ol Rosa Esparza.
Esparza was thrown from the The Texas Giant roller coaster in July – her family is now suing both Six Flags and Gerstlauer for her death.
Six Flags Blames Roller Coaster’s Design
Amd von Waldow, the attorney representing Gerstlauer, vehemently denies that Six Flags is non-complicit in Esparza’s death. He highlights that the roller coaster was designed and built according to plans approved by Six Flags and that Six Flags was intimately involved in the roller coaster’s production.
Von Waldow suggests that the ultimate cause of the fatality was not that Esparza’s lap bar was defective, but rather, that Six Flags employees did not follow appropriate safety procedures in fastening the lap bar.
When the lap bar is properly in place, it should touch the rider’s abdomen and legs. Witness statements from the police investigation that ensued following Esparza’s death indicate that her lap bar was too high, possibly because of her larger size.
Six Flags performed a full internal investigation on the Texas Giant following the fatality, and the ride has since reopened with seat belts, lap bar pads and test seats for customers.
About the Fatal Six Flags Accident
Esparza was ejected from the Texas Giant roller coaster at Six Flags Over Texas on July 19. It was determined by the Tarrant County Medical Examiner that Esparza died after falling 75 feet and striking a support beam.
Early witness accounts indicated that Esparza expressed concern about the positioning of her safety bar, but was reassured by a Six Flags employee before the ride began. Witnesses also claimed they heard a popping sound from Esparza’s seat before she fell.
Depositions revealed that the employee responsible for checking that the safety bar was secure had only worked with the company for three days. That employee, however, defended his actions stating that the ride operator had final say in starting the ride and access to a failsafe button that would have halted the ride.
Following the accident, the newly hired employee was charged with the task of locating Esparza's body.