A victim plunged to her death at the Six Flags Over Texas amusement park in Arlington Friday, authorities reported. Rosy Esparza was riding the Texas Giant roller coaster shortly after 6:30 p.m. CDT (7:30 p.m. EDT). Park representative Sharon Parker confirmed the woman died on the ride, but did not specify how it happened, according to FoxNews.com.
Eyewitnesses who were behind Esparza on the ride told MyFoxDFW.com nothing appeared out of the ordinary when it began, and they noted the roller-coaster train came back with the seat restraint down. Esparza was riding the roller coaster with her daughter and son-in-law, who both reportedly screamed repeatedly after the accident, “We need to go get my mom!”
Carmen Brown of Arlington told the Dallas Morning News: “She goes up like this. Then when it drops to come down, that’s when it [the safety bar] released and she just tumbled.” Brown said she was waiting in line to get on the ride when the accident happened, FoxNews.com reported.
“They didn’t secure her right,” Brown said. “One of the employees from the park -- one of the ladies -- she asked her to click her more than once, and they were like, ‘As long you heard it click, you’re OK.’ Everybody else is like, ‘Click, click, click.’ Hers only clicked once. Hers was the only one that went down once, and she didn’t feel safe, but they let her still get on the ride.”
The Texas Giant is apparently the tallest steel-hybrid roller coaster in the world. The Stir said it can hold as many as 24 people per ride and is 14 stories high with an incline of 79 degrees.
Six Flags released the following statement after Esparza’s devastating death: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family. The investigation into the death at Texas Giant is still ongoing. We are working closely with authorities to determine the cause of the accident. The ride will remain closed. In addition, we have canceled the concert that was scheduled for today.”
Take a look at the eyewitness’ interview with the Dallas Morning News: