Pictures captured the moments immediately following death on Six Flags ride

Print
Email
|

by TERESA WOODARD

WFAA

Posted on November 9, 2013 at 12:25 AM

ARLINGTON -- Their faces are frozen in time.

It was moments after they report hearing a pop, then seeing Rosy Esparza lift from her seat.

Their faces show sheer terror. The photos are from police documents of the investigation into how Esparza died on the Texas Giant roller coaster.

"When Rosy came over that first hill, she had negative G forces pushing her body out of that ride. She would have had to been a body builder to be able to hold on to keep herself from coming out of that ride," explained safety analyst and consultant Ken Martin.

By phone, he said Six Flags failed Rosy Esparza and her family. Six Flags continues to say it didn't.

The 92-page report from Arlington police said employees had noticed trouble with the sensors on the Texas Giant's control panel in the days leading up to the accident. That report was made public Thursday.

But Friday, the amusement park issued a statement.

The statement reiterated that safety is "the foundation" of Six Flags' brand. The amusement park said it continues to extend deep condolences to the Esparza family. The statement also included several facts about the Texas Giant restraint system.

"The ride's operating system will not allow the ride operator to release the train from the loading station unless every lap bar is in a locked position," the statement read.

It also said, "Multiple external and internal experts determined the restraint did not release or move on the day of the accident."

Six Flags investigated itself, which Martin sees as a major problem.

"Six Flags can come in and investigate their own accident? I am sorry, but that is so wrong," he said. "What I would really like to see is a better inspection and an oversight program in the state of Texas. We need people who are specially-trained to be called upon to investigate these things."

After the accident, and before reopening the Texas Giant, Six Flags redesigned the lap bar restraint pads and added seat belts. The statement from Six Flags concluded by saying "nearly 25 million people have ridden the Texas Giant since it opened[...] we have every incentive from a reputational, moral and financial perspective to ensure our parks remain as safe as they possibly can be."

E-mail twoodard@wfaa.com

Print
Email
|