Woman’s Death on Roller Coaster to Be Investigated

ARLINGTON, Texas — Investigators will
try to determine Saturday if a woman
who died while riding a roller coaster
at a Six Flags amusement park in North
Texas fell from the ride, dubbed the
tallest steel-hybrid coaster in the world,
after not being properly secured by
staff, as some witnesses accounts
contend.
The accident happened just after 6:30
p.m. Friday at Six Flags Over Texas in
Arlington. Park spokeswoman Sharon
Parker confirmed that a woman died
while riding the Texas Giant roller
coaster but did not specify how she was
killed. Witnesses told local media
outlets the woman fell.
"She goes up like this. Then when it
drops to come down, that's when it (the
safety bar) released and she just
tumbled," Carmen Brown of Arlington
told The Dallas Morning News. Brown
said she was waiting in line to get on
the ride when the accident happened.
Brown said she also witnessed the
woman being strapped into the ride.
"They didn't secure her right. 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."
Six Flags expressed sadness over the
death and said it was temporarily
closing the section of the park around
the accident site. It didn't say how long
the area would be closed. A message
left for Parker by The Associated Press
was not returned.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the
family and friends during this difficult
time," the park's statement said.
The Texas Giant reaches 14 stories high
and has a drop of 79 degrees and a
bank of 95 degrees. It can carry up to
24 riders. The ride first opened in 1990
as an all-wooden coaster but
underwent a $10 million renovation in
2010 to install steel-hybrid rails before
reopening in 2011.
Brown said she was next in line behind
the woman and saw her being strapped
into her seat next to her son.
"We heard her screaming. We were
like, 'Did she just fall?'" Brown said.
Arlington police Sgt. Christopher Cook,
the department spokesman, referred all
questions to Parker. No other details
were available.
In another amusement park accident
Friday, a boat on an Ohio thrill ride
accidentally rolled backward down a
hill and flipped over in water when the
ride malfunctioned, injuring all seven
people on it. Operators stopped the
Shoot the Rapids water ride after the
accident, which occurred on the ride's
first hill, the Cedar Point amusement
park in Sandusky, Ohio, said.
In 1999, a 28-year-old Arkansas
woman drowned and 10 other
passengers were injured when a raft-
like boat on the Roaring Rapids ride at
Six Flags overturned in 2 to 3 feet of
water about 200 feet from the end of
the ride.
Six Flags Over Texas opened in 1961 as
the first amusement park in the Six
Flags system. It is 17 miles west of
downtown Dallas.