A roller coaster lawsuit was filed against Six Flags Over Texas. The family of Rosa Esparza claims the amusement park was negligent for not having seatbelts on the ride. On July 19, Esparza was killed when she slipped out of her seat.
The Texas Giant debuted in March 1990. The 4,920 foot wooden roller coaster features a 137 foot drop at a 53 degree angle. As reported by Ultimate Roller Coaster, the maximum G-force is 2.7.
When it was built, it was the tallest wooden roller coaster in the world.
Riders were fastened into their seats with a locking safety bar. However, when Esparza got into her seat, the bar did not lock.
The fatal accident happened as the roller coaster descended the first hill. Esparza suddenly lifted out of her seat. As reported by NBC News, Esparza’s daughter and son-in-law witnessed the accident.
They say Esparza realized what was happening and “desperately tried to hang on.” Unfortunately she eventually lost her grip.
The 52-year-old grandmother fell 75 feet to the ground. She was killed on impact.
The roller coaster lawsuit suggests the ride should have included seatbelts in addition to the safety bars.
As reported by ABC News, representatives of Six Flags deny any mechanical failure. However, Esparza’s stature may have impeded the locking mechanism.
Each rider will now wear a seatbelt in addition to the safety bar. A test seat will be available at the entrance to the ride, offering guests the option of making sure they can fit comfortably and safely into the seats.
The roller coaster lawsuit requests compensation in the amount of $1 million. Attorneys for the family claim that Six Flags is responsible for the Texas Giant accident.
[Image via Flickr]