California is home to several world-famous theme parks with rollercoasters and other exciting rides. Theme park rides are supposed to create the illusion of danger without any actual risk. However, negligent ride maintenance and poorly trained ride operators can cause severe injuries and death.
6-year-old girl killed at Colorado theme park
On Sept. 5, a 6-year-old girl fell 110 feet to her death after entering the Haunted Mine Drop ride at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. The girl was not properly secured to her seat before the ride began.
According to the deceased girl’s uncle who was on the ride with her, ride operators had appeared to secure the girl in her seat. When the ride stopped, however, the uncle was horrified to see that his niece was no longer there. An investigation afterwards revealed that the girl had been sitting on top of the seat belts that she was supposed to be wearing.
Warning signs were ignored
The Haunted Mine Drop, which plunges riders underground inside of Iron Mountain, opened to the public in 2017. According to the wrongful death pleadings filed by the deceased girl’s family, there were two previous incidents where ride operators had failed to secure passengers in their seat belts. In both cases, passengers called out to the operators, and the situation was corrected in time.
In the girl’s case, state investigators determined that an alarm system had alerted ride operators about the seat belt issue. However, one of the operators reset the system to stop the alarm and then dispatched the ride. Two of the ride operators were newly hired and improperly trained.