Most of the readers of our San Antonio Personal Injury Law Blog have probably heard about the recent amusement park accident. In fact, if you live in the state of Texas it is hard to avoid news reports of the horrific accident that occurred at Six Flags Over Texas just over a week ago.
On Friday, July 19, a woman fell to her death from the Texas Giant roller coaster located in Arlington. Without an official accident investigation agency in Texas, the investigation is reportedly an internal one conducted by the park, its insurer, a roller coaster inspector and the ride’s manufacturer.
Police have ruled out any suspicion of foul play, and thus said that this will not be investigated by the department as a criminal matter. This certainly does not rule out civil action, and there are certainly questions with outstanding answers.
Witnesses reported that the woman had shared with staff her concerns that the safety bar was not adequately locked before the ride started. According to one witness, the woman said that she didn’t hear her safety bar click like she thought it should.
A representative of the ride’s manufacturer said that with the hydraulic technology used, there would be no “clicking sound,” but there has been no official confirmation over whether or not it was working properly.
Another possible issue in the accident was whether the staff was adequately trained in regard to limitations of the safety bars or the design of the bars themselves. According to a ride investigator, most bars are designed for individuals around only 180 pounds — a weight that many riders possibly surpass.
In this case, the woman weighed more than the average rider. Was the safety bar ineffective for a woman of her size? Should staff members have known that weight could be an issue?
A wrongful death attorney will not simply rely on statements released by park officials, but instead conduct a tandem investigation to determine whether there was evidence that negligence played a role in causing a death.
Source: The Dallas Morning News, “Investigation of Texas Giant accident to be led by Six Flags,” Brandon Formby and Jeff Mosier, July 20, 2013