Six Flags Park to investigate itself in coaster death
+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 18

Thread: Six Flags Park to investigate itself in coaster death

  1. #1
    Posting Addict Spacers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    My avatar is the tai chi -- a symbol of the eternal cycle of life
    Posts
    16,481

    Default Six Flags Park to investigate itself in coaster death

    The investigation of the death of a woman on a roller coaster at Six Flags Over Texas will be led by Six Flags itself, because there's no state or federal agency responsible for enforcing the safety of amusement parks.

    Rosy Ayala-Goana of Dallas died Friday night when she fell from the Texas Giant, which is billed as the world's steepest wooden roller coaster.

    Six Flags initially said in a statement that it was "working with authorities" to figure out what happened. But it later had to admit that it was running the investigation itself because there are no authorities to work with.No federal agency has legal authority to enforce safety standards. And Texas is one of at least 17 states that have no agency responsible for inspecting amusement park rides, according to NBC News' survey of state codes in all 50 states.

    While he was previously in the House, Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., introduced legislation every congressional session to establish federal regulation of amusement park rides beginning in 1999. But the measure never passed.

    Markey renewed his call Sunday for federal regulation of "roller coasters that hurtle riders at extreme speeds along precipitous drops."

    "A baby stroller is subject to tougher federal regulation than a roller coaster carrying a child in excess of 100 miles per hour," Markey said in a statement. "This is a mistake."

    The Texas Giant, a 14-story-high, 4,900-feet-long roller coaster that is among the premier attractions at the park in Arlington, Texas, remains closed until Six Flags concludes its investigation, a park spokeswoman said. The park gave no timetable for reporting any information.

    Nadine Kelley, who had been waiting in line for the ride Friday night, told NBC 5 of Dallas that riders who were sitting behind the woman said that "right when they came down off the first bump and hit that first turn, she flew out."
    The woman was accompanied by two children, who were "hysterical," Kelley said. "They were saying that their mother flew out of the car."

    "It was sad. It was very sad," she said. "We kept telling them to let them out because they were hysterical. The daughter and the son said, 'We have to go get my mom. We have to go get my mom.' We were kind of in disbelief, and we just said a prayer for her."

    Alfred Cannon, Ayala-Goana's next-door neighbor, said Ayala-Goana was "an incredible mother to those kids."

    The Texas Giant is what's called a "super hybrid" ? a roller coaster with traditional wooden components that rides on steel tracks.

    "This track allows us to do much more with a wooden structure: steeper drops, steeper banks," Fred Grubb, president of Rocky Mountain Construction of Hayden, Idaho, said after his company rebuilt the ride two years ago.

    The rebuilding deepened the ride's first drop to 79 degrees and banked several of its turns beyond 95 degrees, with one reaching 115 degrees, Grubb told Funworld, the magazine of the International Association for Amusement Parks and Attractions.

    An independent inspection of the new ride would have been conducted by the Texas Insurance Department. But the department won't be part of the death investigation because the park's insurance isn't in question.

    That's the case even though the Amusement Safety Organization, based in Montecito, Calif., had previously recorded four "significant injuries" on the ride this year, after having recorded seven last year. Nearly all were for whiplash-like neck injuries, it said.

    Meanwhile, federal oversight and statistics on amusement park safety are almost nonexistent.

    The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the National Safety Council both cite amusement park safety standards set by the American Society for Testing and Materials, but those standards are voluntary.
    In Texas, the Insurance Department is responsible for setting regulations for amusement park rides. It requires an annual safety inspection certifying that ride meets ASTM standards. Texas law specifies that the inspection must be carried out by an inspector hired by the insurance company ? not by any government authority.

    To drive home the point that Texas isn't responsible for the safety of any roller coaster, the Insurance Department states: "Recognition by the Department that the amusement ride has satisfied these standards is not an endorsement by the Department or a statement regarding the safe operation of the amusement ride."

    "There's absolutely no federal oversight, no state investigative oversight or any local investigative oversight," Ken Martin, an independent inspector and consultant on amusement park rides from Richmond, Va., told NBC News.

    "It sounds like the fox guarding the henhouse to me," Martin said.



    With no safety oversight, Six Flags will investigate coaster death itself - U.S. News

    Bolding is mine. Do you agree with the park being allowed (or forced, for lack of any other oversight) to investigate itself in the death of a woman who fell to her death from its roller coaster? Should Texas appoint an independent safety consultant to lead this investigation since someone has died? If the park finds itself at fault, there will be no fine or penalty to be paid, as any settlement to the family will come from the insurance company, and there will not need to be a new safety inspection unless the ride is altered; do those things seem right/fair/OK to you?
    David Letterman is retiring. Such great memories of watching him over the past thirty-two years!

  2. #2
    Posting Addict GloriaInTX's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    7,595

    Default

    It doesn't really bother me. Six Flags has a HUGE incentive to keep it's rides safe and will likely lose millions in revenue because of this even if an insurance company pays the family. Only 2 deaths in 50 years is a pretty good track record.
    Mom to Lee, Jake, Brandon, Rocco
    Stepmom to Ryan, Regan, Braden, Baley
    Granddaughters Kylie 10/18/2010 & Aleya 4/22/2013


    I never consider a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosopy, as a cause for withdrawing from a friend. --Thomas Jefferson

  3. #3
    Posting Addict
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    7,261

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GloriaInTX View Post
    It doesn't really bother me. Six Flags has a HUGE incentive to keep its rides safe and will likely lose millions in revenue because of this even if an insurance company pays the family. Only 2 deaths in 50 years is a pretty good track record.
    This was kind of my thought too. I wondered if they were self-insured and will have to settle it out of pocket rather than through an insurance company.

    Based on the articles I read, the witness said the woman questioned the harness clicking and was ignored. It doesn't sound like ride error but rather employee error.

  4. #4
    Posting Addict ClairesMommy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    12,517

    Default

    I view it as a conflict of interest. It is fine to have the park investigate but it should be done in cooperation with the authorities, not on their own. There needs to be some kind of agency regulating these rides and doing safety inspections.

  5. #5
    Posting Addict GloriaInTX's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    7,595

    Default

    They usually err on the side of safety. My son is no longer allowed to ride some of the roller coasters at Six Flags he has ridden since he was about 10 years old because he is an amputee and they made up new rules after that man with no legs fell out of a roller coaster somewhere else. The Titan was one of his favorite rides and they won't let him on it anymore. They wouldn't let him ride the Texas Giant either which is what this woman fell out of. I'm pretty sure that now they are going to start being very strict about letting overweight people on the rides.
    Mom to Lee, Jake, Brandon, Rocco
    Stepmom to Ryan, Regan, Braden, Baley
    Granddaughters Kylie 10/18/2010 & Aleya 4/22/2013


    I never consider a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosopy, as a cause for withdrawing from a friend. --Thomas Jefferson

  6. #6
    Posting Addict Spacers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    My avatar is the tai chi -- a symbol of the eternal cycle of life
    Posts
    16,481

    Default

    Are they really going to look at everything? Are they really going to check every single safety bar on that ride? Or are they going to say, "Employee error," and hope they got it right because every day the ride is closed is costing them money? And was it really employee error? That lady was pretty fat if the photos on the news are reasonably recent. Even if her safety bar had clicked, was it strong enough to hold her? It's not like an upright loop where you have centrifugal force helping hold you in.

    Also, there have been at least a dozen serious injuries in the past couple of years, and every one of those injuries was supposed to shut that ride down for a safety inspection, but the park didn't do it at any time. That says to me that this park IS NOT investigating itself and SHOULD NOT be allowed to lead this investigation. Someone died, and the public deserves to know why and how that happened, and I don't trust this park to properly or adequately do an investigation.
    David Letterman is retiring. Such great memories of watching him over the past thirty-two years!

  7. #7
    Posting Addict GloriaInTX's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    7,595

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Spacers View Post
    Are they really going to look at everything? Are they really going to check every single safety bar on that ride? Or are they going to say, "Employee error," and hope they got it right because every day the ride is closed is costing them money? And was it really employee error? That lady was pretty fat if the photos on the news are reasonably recent. Even if her safety bar had clicked, was it strong enough to hold her? It's not like an upright loop where you have centrifugal force helping hold you in.

    Also, there have been at least a dozen serious injuries in the past couple of years, and every one of those injuries was supposed to shut that ride down for a safety inspection, but the park didn't do it at any time. That says to me that this park IS NOT investigating itself and SHOULD NOT be allowed to lead this investigation. Someone died, and the public deserves to know why and how that happened, and I don't trust this park to properly or adequately do an investigation.
    I'm pretty sure they will. I don't think they want to open themselves up to further problems. Actually they have now shut down another roller coaster at Six Flags in San Antonio that they didn't even have to just because the cars are made by the same company. I think they want to know exactly what happened to make sure it doesn't happen again.

    http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/23/us/tex...html?hpt=hp_t2
    Mom to Lee, Jake, Brandon, Rocco
    Stepmom to Ryan, Regan, Braden, Baley
    Granddaughters Kylie 10/18/2010 & Aleya 4/22/2013


    I never consider a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosopy, as a cause for withdrawing from a friend. --Thomas Jefferson

  8. #8
    Posting Addict
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    7,261

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Spacers View Post
    Are they really going to look at everything? Are they really going to check every single safety bar on that ride? Or are they going to say, "Employee error," and hope they got it right because every day the ride is closed is costing them money? And was it really employee error? That lady was pretty fat if the photos on the news are reasonably recent. Even if her safety bar had clicked, was it strong enough to hold her? It's not like an upright loop where you have centrifugal force helping hold you in.

    Also, there have been at least a dozen serious injuries in the past couple of years, and every one of those injuries was supposed to shut that ride down for a safety inspection, but the park didn't do it at any time. That says to me that this park IS NOT investigating itself and SHOULD NOT be allowed to lead this investigation. Someone died, and the public deserves to know why and how that happened, and I don't trust this park to properly or adequately do an investigation.
    I worked at Magic Mountain for about 4 years. Every morning before the rides were allowed to open they were safety inspected and tested. Some rides were closed for the day due to maintenance or other safety-related reason. Any time there was a report of an injury on a ride regardless of how serious, the ride would close until it could be inspected again. There were 2 rides that were notorious for minor neck and back injuries. Those rides were removed and replaced with other rides. One of then was permanently closed for years before it was removed.

    I don't know how it is now since it's been a while since I worked there.

  9. #9
    Posting Addict Spacers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    My avatar is the tai chi -- a symbol of the eternal cycle of life
    Posts
    16,481

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ethanwinfield View Post
    I worked at Magic Mountain for about 4 years. Every morning before the rides were allowed to open they were safety inspected and tested. Some rides were closed for the day due to maintenance or other safety-related reason. Any time there was a report of an injury on a ride regardless of how serious, the ride would close until it could be inspected again. There were 2 rides that were notorious for minor neck and back injuries. Those rides were removed and replaced with other rides. One of then was permanently closed for years before it was removed.

    I don't know how it is now since it's been a while since I worked there.
    Magic Mountain is in California and California has state regulations about the frequency & thoroughness of ride inspections, minimum acceptable safety standards, and mandatory injury reporting. Texas has none of those. And since this park has not closed the ride, as required, for inspection after at least a dozen serious injuries, I have no faith that they will do a proper inspection now.
    David Letterman is retiring. Such great memories of watching him over the past thirty-two years!

  10. #10
    Posting Addict GloriaInTX's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    7,595

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Spacers View Post
    Magic Mountain is in California and California has state regulations about the frequency & thoroughness of ride inspections, minimum acceptable safety standards, and mandatory injury reporting. Texas has none of those. And since this park has not closed the ride, as required, for inspection after at least a dozen serious injuries, I have no faith that they will do a proper inspection now.
    Where does it say the ride wasn't inspected after an injury? I didn't read that anywhere in the article. So you think it is just a coincidence that this is the first time they have had a death on a roller coaster in 50 years?
    Mom to Lee, Jake, Brandon, Rocco
    Stepmom to Ryan, Regan, Braden, Baley
    Granddaughters Kylie 10/18/2010 & Aleya 4/22/2013


    I never consider a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosopy, as a cause for withdrawing from a friend. --Thomas Jefferson

+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
v -->

About Us | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Sitemap | Terms & Conditions