Yesterday, the family of the 52-year-old grandmother killed in the accident filed a wrongful death lawsuit. Later the same day, the park announced that they will reopen the ride this weekend with some safety improvements. The park’s president and his family will be among the passengers on that first trip after the grand re-opening.
The Texas Giant, a coaster that doesn’t go upside down, uses bars lowered into passengers’ laps as safety restraints. People, unfortunately, come in many different shapes and sizes, and some of these shapes don’t fit very well into all restraint systems. Some parks have special seats for larger guests, and some use a one-size-fits-most approach. People who are too large or small for “most” don’t get to ride.
The family’s attorney alleges that lap bars aren’t enough to restrain riders with larger-than-average laps, since the bar tends to sit somewhere on their abdomen rather than across their hips. The ride’s green light that indicates a bar is low enough and secure may give park staff and riders a “false sense of security.” In their suit, the family alleges that the park has been aware of this problem with lap bars for decades, but continued to use them.
The park says that safety systems on the Texas Giant have been improved, and there will also be a sample seat available for park guests to check whether they will fit comfortably and safely in the seat and restraints.
Family sues Six Flags; Texas Giant to reopen this weekend [Dallas Morning News]