The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Big Story

July 20, 2013

Witnesses: Woman fell off massive roller coaster

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 that 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.

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