Little did she know, but Rosy Esperaza’s first trip to Six Flags, would also be her last.
This past weekend, Rosy Esperaza lost her life while riding The Texas Giant, one of the monstrous rides at Six Flags Over Texas, and what they coin as the “the world’s steepest drop!”
Rosy Esperaza was seated alongside her son, Amado. As is customary in most theme park rides, the employees went around checking and making sure all the patrons are fastened in properly and safely. However, before an employee got to Rosy Esperaza, she knew something was wrong.
She informed one of the employees that she believed the retention bar not secured properly. That employee allegedly replied in an indifferent manner that, “As long as you heard it click, you’re fine.” Well, she was not fine, and she paid for the Six Flags employee’s lack of attention with her life.
When the ride went up, and then headed back down its steep track she tumbled out of her seat and down the 14 story height of the coaster. The seat next to Amado Esperaza, where his mother had started the ride, was empty when the ride carriage came back into the station and the boy was screaming, “Mom fell off!”
Spokesperson for Six Flags Over Texas, Sharon Parker, will not speculate as to what caused the tragic death of Rosy Esperaza. Authorities are investigating the event, and will look at numerous factors that may have contributed, such as the maintenance and design, how the ride was operated, and the human element.
Officials from the roller coaster’s manufacturer, Gerstlauer Amusement Rides, of Germany will arrive in North Texas to begin their own investigation. According to a Gerstlauer project manager, they have never had issues with the safety bars on any of the nearly 50 roller coasters they have built over their 30 years in operation.
In Florida, amusement parks are overseen by The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and more specifically, the Bureau of Fair Rides Inspection. This division is responsible for inspecting amusement park rides for structural and operational integrity. Permanent amusement parks like SeaWorld, Busch Gardens, Disney World, and Universal Studios are inspected twice a year and permitted annually. They allow for complaints regarding amusement rides to be filed with them.
This is a tragic event that could have happened to anybody. It is important to voice any concerns that you may have before riding any rides. It is also important to ensure those individuals take heed when you voice your concerns, and if you feel your concerns are ignored, you should not stay on that ride. Finally, it is also important to understand that though amusement parks are a place to enjoy yourself, it is also a place where seriously bodily injury can occur, and in some cases, like this one, may result in the death of a family member.
Wooten Kimbrough, P.A. Orlando Theme Park Injury Attorneys