- (Photo: YouTube Screen Shot)
The Texas roller coaster in which a woman feel to her death reopened Saturday with improved safety measures roughly two months removed from her tragic death.
Riders lined up at the roller coaster just after Six Flags Over Texas opened at 10:30 a.m., with long lines being reported through the evening rush, WFAA reported.
The coaster, The Texas Giant, had been closed since July 19, when Rosa Esparza, 52, was ejected from the coaster's car and fell to her death. Her family filed a civil wrongful-death lawsuit Tuesday, accusing Six Flags of negligence.
The woman was with her two children and they were said to be hysterical after witnessing their mother fall out.
"They were saying that their mother flew out of the car," Nadine Kelly, a witness who had been waiting in line, told NBC 5 at the time of the incident.
She said that riders who had sat behind her during the ride described that she flew out when they came down off the first bump and hit the first turn.
Another witness, Carmen Brown, told The Dallas Morning News that the park staff did not secure her right: "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."
At 14 stories, the wood-and-steel coaster boasts a steep drop of 79 degrees and a bank of 95 degrees, according to Six Flags.
The improved safety measures include a test seat at the ride's entrance so riders can voluntarily check how well they fit into the seat. Cars have a newly designed "T-bar" restraint along with seatbelts, WFAA reported.
Six Flags spokeswoman Sandra Daniels responded in a statement Thursday, "While our thoughts and prayers remain with Ms. Esparza's family and friends, there are a number of inaccuracies contained in the recent lawsuit and we intend to defend ourselves vigorously."