Mechanical failure ruled out in Six Flags coaster death

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 10, 2013 9:27 PM

By Lisa Maria Garza

DALLAS (Reuters) - Investigators probing the death of a woman who plunged from a roller coaster in July at the Six Flags Over Texas amusement park ruled out mechanical failure as the cause, park officials said Tuesday.

Rosy Esparza, 52, died on the tracks of the 14-story-high Texas Giant ride at the Arlington park after falling out of her seat as the roller coaster descended its first large hill.

Six Flags said in a statement it would not release further details about the investigation conducted by the ride manufacturer, internal investigators and external experts because of pending litigation.

Esparza's relatives filed a wrongful death lawsuit on Tuesday, alleging the park was negligent in not having an adequate restraint system. The family is seeking more than $1 million in damages.

The ride, which closed immediately after Esparza's death, will reopen this weekend, park officials said. At the time of the accident, the roller coaster was equipped with a lap bar in each train cart and the carts now will include a seatbelt and extra padding on the lap bar.

"We are heartbroken and will forever feel the pain and sadness of this tragic accident," park president Steve Martindale said in a statement. "Our sincerest condolences go out to the family and friends of Ms. Esparza.

"The safety of our guests and employees is our company's absolute highest priority and we try to take every reasonable precaution to eliminate the risk of accidents."

(Reporting By Lisa Maria Garza; Editing by Bill Trott)