Fatal Six Flags Coaster Saw 14 Injuries in 5 Years

Rosa Ayala-Goana died of 'multiple traumatic injuries': coroner

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 23, 2013 2:02 AM CDT | Updated Jul 23, 2013 7:43 AM CDT

(Newser) – Injury, it seems, is nothing new on and around the Six Flags roller coaster where a woman died last week. Between April 2008 and April 2013, the park reported 14 injuries tied to the Texas Giant, though three occurred before or after patrons rode it, the AP reports. The gravest injuries were apparently concussions and strained muscles—but with the park reporting the data itself, "The numbers that we hear about are typically the tip of the iceberg," says a safety analyst. And while fatal roller coaster accidents are rare, "Most times that you have death accidents, it was something either ignorant or human error," adds a safety inspector for amusement parks.

Meanwhile, the coroner says Friday's victim received "multiple traumatic injuries" in her fall, the Dallas Morning News reports. Her name, officials say, was Rosa Ayala-Goana, not Rosy Esparza, as her family had said; Esparza is her husband's last name. Amid word that there may have been a problem with her harness, the inspector notes: "At the end of the day, it comes down to whether or not the person fits ... If the harness locks normally, without forcing it, it's OK. And the final say is up to the ride operator to tell you, 'I'm sorry, you can't ride.'"

The Texas Giant roller coaster ride sits idle in the foreground as people take in another ride a the Six Flags Over Texas park Saturday, July 20, 2013, in Arlington, Texas.
The Texas Giant roller coaster ride sits idle in the foreground as people take in another ride a the Six Flags Over Texas park Saturday, July 20, 2013, in Arlington, Texas.   (AP Photo/LM Otero)
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