This weekend’s Six Flags death in Texas shocked parkgoers and raised some scary questions about the safety of thrill rides — but more worrisome is the revelation that no regulatory body oversees the private entities or wholly monitors their safety.
The Six Flags death of mom Rosy Esparza occurred on the “Texas Giant,” with the woman falling to her death on the wooden coaster right in front of her traumatized young daughters.
Esparza died Friday at Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington, but the specifics of the fatal accident have yet to be determined or released. Some have speculated that improper engagement of a restraint bar allowed the woman to fall from the car during the course of the coaster ride, but Six Flags spokeswoman Sharon Parker said that until an exact cause was determined, unconfirmed theories may be hurtful to the victim’s family:
“We are committed to determining the cause of this tragic accident and will utilize every resource throughout this process… It would be a disservice to the family to speculate regarding what transpired.”
However, it will be down to Six Flags’ death investigation to get to the bottom of the fatal accident, as some digging by NBC reveals that no agency is responsible for ensuring safety at such venues as an outsider — meaning Six Flags itself will be the sole arbiter of what may have happened and how to prevent it.
The network quotes Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), who attempted to initiate amusement park oversight federally back in 1999. After the recent Six Flags death, Markey again lashed out at “roller coasters that hurtle riders at extreme speeds along precipitous drops.”
“A baby stroller is subject to tougher federal regulation than a roller coaster carrying a child in excess of 100 miles per hour… This is a mistake.”
This weekend’s Six Flags death was the second at the Arlington park since its 1961 opening.