Everyone’s worst nightmare, climbing into a roller coaster ride and instead of feeling the adrenaline from the ride, feeling it from a free fall out of your seat and never seeing daylight again. That’s exactly what Rosy Esparza felt when she died from falling out of a roller coaster on Friday night.
The roller coaster death happened during Rosy Esparza’s ride on The Texas Giant, a 14-story-high, 4,900-feet-long roller coaster that is among the premiere attractions at the park in Arlington, Texas, the park said in a statement.
On Friday night, at Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington Rosy Esparza was with her son and reportedly making her first visit to the amusement park. Still an ongoing investigation as to what exactly happened and why. Eventually, there should be a ruling about whether there was a mechanical failure or whether Esparza was not secured properly in the car. There could be other scenarios.
“We’re concerned as engineers that we design things that fit people,” Bob Swint, CEO of Houston-based ATA Associates told MyFoxDFW. He said investigators will have to look at whether the woman’s size may have prevented her restraints from protecting her.
“With that size you have to be concerned on whether she was properly fitted to that seat,” added Swint. “We don’t know if there was an issue with the ride or an issue with the way a person is sitting or operating this ride the safeguards also include the individuals who are letting people on those rides.”
Esparza’s weight has not been disclosed. The ride does not have any weight restrictions, it was reported.
While at first, the park issued a statement stating the woman died “on” the ride, but park visitors told NBC 5 of Dallas that they saw her fall from the roller coaster shortly after 6:30 p.m. (7:30 p.m. ET).
Carmen Brown of Arlington was waiting in line as Rosy was being secured into her seat. Brown told The Dallas Morning News Esparza had expressed concern to a park employee that she was not secured correctly in her seat. She said the victim fell out of the ride as it made a sudden maneuver.
“The lady basically tumbled over,” she said. “We heard her screaming. We were, like, ‘Did she just fall?'”
Tobias Lindnar, a project manager for Gerstlauer Amusement Rides in Munsterhausen, Germany wouldn’t discuss the hydraulic bar’s operation or whether park employees should be able to determine if a person’s body is too close to the front of the roller coaster ride to prevent the bar from being effective.
“At this time I don’t want to speak about the technicals,” he said. “It’s not so easy. It’s some special equipment.”
But he said once the ride began, there was no chance of opening the safety bar. “We are committed to determining the cause of this tragic accident and will utilize every resource throughout this process,” Parker said in her statement. “It would be a disservice to the family to speculate regarding what transpired.”
“The ride has to be stopped and not re-opened until it’s re-inspected by a certified inspector. That’s what’s going on now,” Jerry Hagins, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Insurance, said Sunday.
Hagins says his agency’s oversight involves liability insurance and annual safety inspections, which result in a sticker posted on each ride. The sticker on the roller coaster was effective through February 2014. The state agency does not investigate accidents, he said.
“In addition to the annual safety inspection, amusement ride operators are required to inspect each of their rides every day and keep a log of those inspections. They don’t submit (it) to us, but there’s a log on premises and can be supplied to law enforcement upon request,” he said.
In a statement released Saturday, a park spokeswoman said an investigation into the incident is ongoing. “We are committed to determining the cause of this tragic accident and will utilize every resource throughout this process,” Sharon Parker said in a statement. “It would be a disservice to the family to speculate regarding what transpired. When we have new information to provide, we will do so. Our thoughts, prayers and full support remain with the family.”
Deadly Accident on Six Flags Texas Giant Roller Coaster
Woman falls to her death on ‘Texas Giant’ roller coaster ride at Six Flags amusement park.
Six Flags roller coaster safety procedures investigated
An accident at a Six Flags amusement park in Arlington, Texas that resulted in a woman’s death has investigators focusing on the park’s safety procedures for the ride.
Did woman’s weight contribute to roller coaster death?
Accident re-constructionist Robert Swint speculates about possible contributors to a woman’s death on a roller coaster. How much did Rosy Esparza weigh?