Family will file wrongful death lawsuit against Glenwood Caverns

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

The law firm representing the family of 6-year-old Wongel Estifanos who died on an amusement park ride says a wrongful death lawsuit is expected to be filed this week. According to a state report, ride operators did not notice she was sitting on top of both seat belts.

Read more from KKTV/Colorado Springs.

Now we will see how strong that waiver is....

I don't see how it's even relevant. When you sign a waiver like that, you can't be presumed to give up the reasonable expectation that the rides will be properly maintained or that the employees will follow procedures for securing riders and operating the ride. Those are all (mostly) out of the rider's control. If the waiver was that strong, every park would have one.

Tommytheduck's avatar

Probably about as strong as the paper it's printed on.

Waiver or not, I can only imagine that the park holds certain responsibilities. At the absolute least, they should be responsible to follow the operating manual, which they did not do.

The park and the manufacturer have absolutely no defense. They installed a ride without maximum safety features. (safer restraint systems exist, a ride should not be able to be started without all restraints in proper position etc. )

The restraint was in the proper position. The child was sitting on top of the secured seatbelt.

Last edited by bigboy,

super7* said:

Member(s) of the ride crew that allowed the vehicle to dispatch in these conditions have absolutely no defense.

Fixed it for you.

kpjb's avatar

I don't see how the manufacturer could be at fault. The restraints are perfectly safe if used properly and the control system told them that the ride hadn't cycled properly. This seems 100% operational.


Seat belt only, as proven by this accident, is not sufficient. If a rider can sit on it without being noticed, it’s not a proper restraint. Also the system allowed the ride to be started with the Rider unrestrained. Double failure.

The operators allowed the ride to be started without the rider restrained.

kpjb's avatar

Seat belt only with proper operation, as proven by Tower of Terror, is sufficient.

The restraint's job is to restrain the rider. The operator's job is to make sure that the restraint is in place.

The Raven at Holiday World has individual ratcheting restraints. Look that up to see how well they work when not properly checked.


Careful what you insinuate…
The restraints on the Raven were properly checked and subsequently defeated by the rider.

Sadly the lesson not learned from that incident is that PTC’s ratcheting lap bars are far easier to defeat than the traditional handlebars. While true, that defies conventional wisdom so most people don’t want to learn that lesson.

Holiday World wasn’t an operator error, it was a deliver act by a rider. At Glenwood Caverns I am disinclined to suggest that the rider made a conscious effort to ride unrestrained particularly given her age. In fact I wonder if, at her age, she had ever experienced a lap belt restraint before! This one, I am afraid, still falls into the lap of the operators. That restraint is perfectly adequate for this ride.

—Dave Althoff, Jr.

    /X\        _      *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
/XXX\ /X\ /X\_ _ /X\__ _ _ _____

Tommytheduck's avatar

Half of them were.

Jeff's avatar

I know the family is upset with the decision, but if the DA doesn't believe it can prove criminal negligence, it probably can't win. Someone made a very horrible mistake, but I don't imagine the state laws define that as a crime.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog

You must be logged in to post

POP Forums - ©2024, POP World Media, LLC