Six Flags Death: Woman Who Falls from Roller Coaster in Arlington Texas Identified as Rosa Esparza (Video)
Jul 22, 2013 11:14 AM EDT
Rosa Esparza has been identified as the woman who plummeted to her death on Friday while she was riding The Texas Giant, at Six Flags Great Adventure in Arlington Texas, CBS News reported. CBS Affiliate KTVT in Dallas said that Esparza was riding what is billed as the tallest steel-hybrid roller coaster in the world when she fell from the ride as her son sat next to her. Before she fell, she reportedly expressed concern that her lap bar was not secure enough, which, witnesses said either broke or came loose before plunging to her death.
Six Flags Spokesperson Sharon Parker expressed sadness and regret on Friday night: "We are deeply saddened to share that earlier this evening an adult woman died in the park while on the Texas Giant. Park medical staff and local paramedics responded immediately. Since the safety of our guests and employees is our number one priority, the ride has been closed pending further investigation. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends during this difficult time."
"We are committed to determining the cause of this tragic accident and will utilize every resource throughout this process," Parker said.
Six Flags also sent out a tweet: "Safety is our top priority and that section of the park has been temporarily closed."
The ride was immediately shut down after the accident, and people began vacating.
One eyewitness, Josh Fleak tweeted, ""Literally just witnessed someone fly off the Texas giant two seats in front of me," CBS News reported.
The Arlington Fire Department has taken the lead in the investigation as to how the incident took place, and on Saturday Six Flags issued a new statement stating that, "we are committed to determining the cause of this tragic accident and will utilize every resource throughout this process. It would be a disservice to the family to speculate regarding what transpired. When we have new information to provide, we will do so. Our thoughts, prayers and full support remain with the family."
Since 2008, 14 injury reports (mostly minor) have taken place on The Texas Giant. When the ride opened in 1990, it was billed as the tallest wooden roller coaster in the world.