A 52-year-old woman died after falling off a roller coaster at the Six Flags Over Texas amusement park last week. Rosa Ayala-Goana’s death resulted from multiple traumatic injuries after falling on the tracks of the 14-story-high Texas Giant ride in Arlington, Texas. Six Flags Entertainment Chief Executive Jim Reid-Anderson said the company was investigating the cause of the accident and that the ride had been closed. “You can rest assured that it will remain closed until we are certain it is safe to ride,” he said.
Witnesses said Goana expressed concern about the Texas Giant roller coaster’s safety bar not completely engaging as the ride was starting. A German roller coaster maker sent officials to the amusement park to inspect the ride. Tobias Lindnar, a project manager for Gerstlauer Amusement Rides in Munsterhausen, Germany assured that there was no safety bar that was broken. Lindnar remarked that the roller coaster maker has never had problems with car safety bars on any of the rides it has built around the world over the past 30 years. Lindnar did not address 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 train car to prevent the bar from being effective. He expressed that once the ride commenced, there was absolutely no chance of the safety bar opening.
The Texas Giant coaster is touted as the tallest steel-hybrid roller coaster in the world. The ride first opened in 1990 as an all-wooden coaster and underwent a $10 million renovation to install steel-hybrid rails and reopened in 2011. It can carry up to 24 people. Six Flags received a state-issued inspection sticker approval for the Texas Giant in February. Park representatives said the ride will remain closed until it is inspected again and certified to be safe.
If you or someone you know have been injured as a result of a property owner’s negligence, contact the attorneys at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling (713) 222-7211 or 713-222-7211.