Medical examiner rules on coaster death

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by TODD UNGER / WFAA

WFAA

Posted on July 22, 2013 at 12:25 PM

Updated Monday, Jul 22 at 1:25 PM

ARLINGTON -- A Tarrant County medical examiner ruled Rosy Esparza's cause of death as multiple traumatic injuries resulting from her fall from the Texas Giant Friday night at Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington.

Family of the 52-year-old mother told WFAA it was Esparza's first time at the amusement park. While they named the victim Rosy Esparza, the coroner's report identified her as Rosa Ayala-Goana. The time of death was listed at 7 p.m. Friday and the place on the "roller coaster track."

The Texas Giant remains closed as Six Flags continues their investigation into what went wrong Friday.

"You can rest assured it will remain closed until we are certain it's safe to ride," said Jim Reid-Anderson, chairman, CEO and president of Six Flags Entertainment.

During an investors call Monday morning, Reid-Anderson briefly addressed the death:

"We join this call today with heavy hearts. As you may already have heard, one of our guests died last Friday in an accident at our park in Arlington, Texas. We're actually hosting the call today from the park. We've been here throughout the weekend to support our team as we work through this tragic event. Utilizing both internal and external experts, we're investigating the cause of the accident."

The 14-story ride is touted as the tallest steel-hybrid roller coaster in the world. The German roller coaster maker, Gerstlauer Amusement Rides, is sending officials to inspect the ride.

A project manager told The Dallas Morning News Gerstlauer has never had problems with car safety bars on any of the roughly 50 roller coasters it's built around the world over the past 30 years.

Six Flags received a state-issued sticker, like an auto inspection sticker, for the Texas Giant in February.

Reid-Anderson said Monday the company won't release any further information until its investigation is complete.

The ride first opened in 1990 as an all-wooden coaster and underwent a $10 million renovation to install steel-hybrid rails and reopened in 2011. It can carry up to 24 people.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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