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Six Flags Conducts Internal Investigation Into Texas Giant Tragedy

ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) - How a woman was thrown from the 14 story Texas Giant roller coaster and died remains a mystery and the answers to how it happened may never be revealed.

Rosa Ayala-Goana
Rosa Esparza was thrown from The Texas Giant at Six Flags Flags Over Texas in Arlington. (credit: Esparza family)

Arlington Police and Fire Departments reviewed the incident, ruled out foul play, then directed questions to Six Flags Over Texas, a 212-acre park.

Six Flags said in a statement the company was conducting its internal investigation.

A safety analyst who is certified to inspect amusement rides in several states including Texas, Ken Martin, spoke to CBS 11.

"Quite frankly, Six Flags Over Texas is not required to do anything," he said. "There is no federal or state requirement to make them do an investigation. There is no federal or state requirement that would make them share any information as a result of the investigation."


The Texas Department of Insurance, who oversees amusement rides in the state, ensures that rides like the Texas Giant have at least $1 million of insurance and that rides are inspected annually, but does not investigate deaths or accidents, nor does the agency ensure that any problems get resolved.

The Dallas Morning News reported the German company who renovated the hybrid steel and wooden roller coaster, Gerstlauer Amusement Rides, is sending representatives to North Texas to inspect the ride.

On July 22 the Tarrant County Medical Examiner's Office officially identified the victim as Rosa Esparza. Her family asked for privacy and is search for representation for possible legal action.

The lack of governmental oversight, Martin said, could mean the public will never know what led up to the tragic accident.

Six Flags would not comment about when the Texas Giant would re-open but Jerry Hagins, with the Texas Department of Insurance, said the roller coaster cannot re-open until it is inspected again.

Witnesses said Friday that Esparza was thrown the Texas Giant after the first turn on the ride.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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