After Woman's Death, Roller Coaster Reopens
The roller coaster that was shut down when a passenger was thrown to her death is back in business. But just how safe is it?
The Texas Giant, at Six Flags outside Dallas, is the roller coaster where 52-year-old Rosa Esparza was thrown to her death in July. Before the tragedy, she was reportedly worried that the safety bar on her seat was not completely engaged.
The ride was shut down after her death, but reopened Saturday. Six Flags bosses said they've introduced new safety measures.
INSIDE EDITION asked Walter Reiss, an amusement park safety inspector, to review the reopened ride.
First off, Reiss tried out a test seat, which checks whether passengers are too big to allow the safety bar to close properly. A beep went off to show that the bar is where it should be.
A Six Flags employee said, “It has to be able to fit on your thighs."
Then, after a short wait on line, he climbed into a real car. On the seat itself, there is a safety harness. Six Flags says this is one of the new safety measures.
Esparza’s seat on that fateful day, according to a lawyer for her family, had no safety belt.
Then, the safety bar came down over Reiss’ legs. Six Flags says this too has been redesigned.
Six Flags workers checked that everything was ok. Then, the ride began.
A little later, Reiss went on the ride a second time, and this time he sat in the exact position where Esparza was sitting the day of the tragedy.
So what was Reiss’ verdict?
He said, "I would give it a 10. I think they have made some very meaningful safety changes to their procedures. They added seatbelts, they made modifications to the lap bar itself. As far as operational procedures they are far more careful that the bars are properly adjusted to each person."
But the new safety measures are little consolation to Esparza’s family. Their lawyer Frank Branson, has filed a lawsuit against Six Flags.
He told INSIDE EDITION, "This ride is dangerous and it was deadly to Mrs. Esparza."
Even with the lawsuit, fans of The Texas Giant still continue to stand in line for the thrill ride.
Six Flags told INSIDE EDITION in a statement that: “The safety of their guests is their highest priority,” adding that "The Texas Giant has undergone extensive testing and has received approval from the state to resume operation.”