DALLAS -– No one had a closer seat to watch what happened to Rosa Esparza than Cody Rush.
"I was sitting right behind her," he said.
Rush was at Six Flags Over Texas in July and had the seat directly behind Esparza on the Texas Giant roller coaster.
"I heard a real loud pop come from her seat,” he told News 8, “and then her seat came loose and she came up in the air a little bit. I don't know if she passed out from fear or what, but it looked like she went limp."
Rush said he watched Esparza roll out of the car as it raced around the first big curve.
“I could have reached out and grabbed her if I had another three or four feet,” he said. “If she had fell another way, I could have grabbed her -- that's how close I was.”
In the seconds after witnessing the horror at the Arlington park, Rush said he got scared.
"After that, me and my buddy held on to each other,” he said. “We thought our seats were going to come up. We thought maybe something had went wrong and everybody's seats were going to come up. The rest of the ride we were like, 'Well, am I going to die here? Is this where it ends?' We were just holding on to each other and praying."
When the ride returned to the platform, Rush said he and others ran over to the park employees.
"We're yelling, ‘Stop the ride! Stop the ride! Nobody's getting on!’" Rush said. "They finally believed us when they went up to her car and the only thing that was in there was one shoe.”
Six Flags’ insurance company, The Hartford, had the ride inspected in February 2013, as Texas law mandates.
PLH & Associates in Lakeland, Florida, declared it safe, according to an official Certificate of Inspection required by the Texas Department of Insurance.
But PLH & Associates’ phone number listed on the certificate is disconnected and the Florida Department of State reports the Lakeland company no longer exists. It dissolved as a corporation in December 2011, fourteen months before it was listed on the official inspection to Texas.
When News 8 contacted Six Flags Over Texas about the discrepancy, a spokeswoman said PLH & Associates changed its name to GRB Worldwide, though it’s uncertain when.
The Texas Department of Insurance told News 8 it will take a closer look at inspection certificate.
One safety expert said Texas lawmakers need to tighten their oversight of amusement park rides, calling it "non-existent" now.