• Sat, Jul 20 2013

Mother Falls To Her Death In Front Of Her Son, And Now I’m Even More Terrified Of Rollercoasters

BFLfbOlCEAElXTaLast night, at Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington, a mother fell out of a roller coaster and plunged to her death – in front of her son. I can’t even wrap my head around this.

A group of people who were waiting in line for the ride behind the woman told ABC News the woman – who appeared to be in her 50′s – and her son were laughing and talking while waiting to board the ride:

“The family didn’t witness the fall, but said the victim’s son was clearly distraught when the ride returned to the loading platform.

“He was saying ‘She fell! she fell!’”

It kills me to think that one minute this woman is enjoying a day at a park with her son, laughing and joking, and the next minute she’s gone. That it all happened right in front of him makes this story ten times worse. How do people get through things like this?

Originally an all-wooden roller coaster introduced to the park in 1990, the Texas Giant ride was redesigned with a steel track and re-opened in April of 2011 during the theme park’s 50th anniversary. The ride’s tallest height is 153 feet and has a drop of 147 feet.

Six Flags says the ride has “a record-breaking bank” of 95 degrees, “steeper than any wooden coaster on the planet.”

I loved roller coasters when I was younger, but the older I get the more terrified I get. Freak accidents like this make it even more difficult to enjoy these things. But I would do the same thing this mother did – get on the rides with my kid.

Early Saturday, Six Flags added that the investigation into the death was continuing. “We are working closely with authorities to determine the cause of the accident,” spokeswoman Shannon Parker said in a written statement.

She added that the Texas Giant ride remains closed…

The victim’s name has not been released.

(photo: Twitter)

Share This Post:
  • CrazyFor Kate

    What an awful story. I hope they’re able to figure out what happened so something like this won’t happen again.

  • chickadee

    This is basically my roller-coaster nightmare. When I saw the really information-free news item yesterday I was hoping that it was a seizure or medical emergency or something.* I have ridden that coaster before and I was scaring myself by wondering what would happen if you weren’t secured, but I thought there were fail-safes. There should be fail-safes!

    *I didn’t want anything to have happened to her, obviously, but I really didn’t want it to be a safety issue.

  • Justme

    This park was about 20 minutes from my childhood home so I spent lots of summers riding ALL the roller coasters multiple times a day. This is a very isolated and VERY tragic event.
    I was over on Huffington Post reading the comments and so many people brought it back to Rick Perry and a lack of brains or regulation in Texas. No. This was a freak accident that could happen to anyone at any park. Six Flags is a very well run tourist attraction and I’m so sorry that people are addressing an event that will forever change many lives with such a hateful attack on the state that I love.

    • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

      I’m not a fan of Perry, but I find anyone who would try to blame such a one-off, horrible accident on him or anyone else despicable. I’m not sure if there are regulations that might have saved this woman’s life, but it certainly isn’t Rick Perry’s fault, or anyone else’s in particular.

    • Justme

      I’m a little sad that Rick Perry isn’t running for governor again because he is depriving me of the joy of voting AGAINST him. I’m a teacher and he is refusing to release the “rainy day fund” that could alleviate MANY of the district’s financial woes. He, in short…is an idiot. But even his idiocy was not the direct cause of this terrible tragedy.

      I’ve ridden that ride at least a hundred times since my youth. I can vividly remember sitting in the car and having those attendants, dripping sweat through their red or blue regulation polo shirts, running up and down each side of the car checking and rechecking the safety bar of each passenger before giving the green light for us to depart from the station.

      To me, that kind of rhetoric is the root of many political, economic and social problems in our country. People are listening to the 24 hour news cycle whose job it is to keep people entertained and so they give snippets of information combined with ridiculous sound bytes that will grab attention. And every politician who values making a name for himself over actually getting work done is on the program spouting some absurd theory aimed at derailing the other party’s hope of passing important legislation. That kind of talk is seriously dangerous and damaging our country. We must find some way to have rational, educated and compassionate discussions about important topics that don’t include insults, slander and exaggeration.

      Wow. I did not mean to go there on you. I was just incensed by the comments I read on HuffPo because I think stuff like that is just a symptom of a larger problem that we have here in the United States.

      Carry on.

    • Courtney Lynn

      Agreed. We are WAY too dependent on the media.

    • Courtney Lynn

      I’m not a Perry fan either, but I am a born and raised Texan and I also love my state. I find that people who talk shit about us the way they do don’t know our state and most have never been. I will never give another ear to Lewis Black after his tirade. The closed-mindedness baffles me. A woman died and all people can do is find a reason to talk shit about Texas. Ugh.

    • Justme

      I watched that tirade too and was pretty taken aback. Rick Perry is an absolute schmuck but don’t judge our whole state by it.

  • Cee

    I read somewhere that she and her son had complained that she was not fastened well enough. If thats the case, a ride operator was horribly negligent. How horrible for her son to have to have seen this.

    This has got to be one of my nightmare scenarios, I don’t even ride roller coasters. Space Mountain at Disneyland is the only rollercoaster (if you can call it that) I ride and I check the bar that holds me down like crazy.

    • LiteBrite

      I heard this story this morning, and I think you’re right. There were actually two rollercoaster deaths on the same day, and I think this is the one where the woman was concerned her safety bar wasn’t secure.

  • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

    A well-known amusement park where I live (in Long Island, I won’t say more) is where I had a similar incident. If the coaster hadn’t been a MUCH slower, less steep ride I would have been thrown right out. Scared me from coasters in small venues for a long time. This incident has me scared from larger ones now. *shudder*

  • The Great Queen Spider

    I haven’t ridden a rollercoaster since age five. I felt extremely sick riding a wooden coaster at a carnival. I just avoid things that make me sick. Plus I seem to have bad luck so its not ideal for me.

  • Courtney Lynn

    I am a huge fan of roller coasters, at least I used to be in my younger days. I also find the older I get, the more I am increasingly afraid of heights, which I hate admitting, but I am. I grew up about 10 minutes from the park and live in Arlington now. I’ve been to Six Flags many times growing up. I have many friends who have worked there, too.

    I found out this morning that the woman had questioned her restraint. I remember the attendants checking the restraints, sometimes TWICE. Still not enough details on it, but if I DO ride a roller coaster again and I have doubts, they BETTER DAMN WELL let me off.