Investigation continues into Six Flags roller coaster death

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by TODD UNGER

WFAA

Posted on July 22, 2013 at 9:40 AM

ARLINGTON — There were more questions but few answers Sunday as the Texas Giant remains shut down at Six Flags Over Texas.

Rosy Esparza, 52, fell to her death from the roller coaster ride on Friday, according to her family.

The biggest unanswered question concerns the safety restraint system on the ride.

On Friday, some witnesses told News 8 that Esparza was concerned when the restraint didn't appear to tighten properly.

"She tells the guy, 'I only snapped once.' And he was nonchalant about it. 'You're fine,'" said Carmen Brown, who said she watched the woman fall from the ride.

But there are questions about whether a hydraulic-based restraint, like the one aboard the ride, would actually make any "click" at all.

The German manufacturer advertises in an online pamphlet that "the use of redundant hydraulic cylinders ensures that each lap-bar can be infinitely adjusted."

A leading safety expert, Bill Avery, told ABC News there are other factors to consider.

"I can tell you that persons of larger upper body torsos that typically the lap bar will not go down all the way to the top of the thighs — meeting at the waist line closer to the body, where it actual should be — and some cases they can actually rest on the abdomen, and in situations like that, it is not appropriate," he said on Sunday.

Family members of Esparza are asking for privacy.

The family is considering the possibility of retaining an attorney.

Since the death appears to have been accidental, neither Arlington police or fire officials are investigating any further.

Six Flags had no comment on Sunday, but said earlier in the weekend that its thoughts were with the family and that it was conducting a thorough investigation.

Other rides remain open at the park, but the Texas Giant is expected to be closed for the foreseeable future.

 

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