Woman dies riding Texas Giant at Six Flags Over Texas

Posted Friday, July 19, 2013 9:27 PM | Contributed by Jeff

Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington has confirmed an adult woman died while riding the Texas Giant Friday night. While news of the death quickly spread across Twitter, few details were confirmed as of 8 p.m.

Read more from The Dallas Morning News and WFAA/Dallas.

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Saturday, July 20, 2013 4:17 PM

My condolences to her family as well.

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Saturday, July 20, 2013 4:35 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

The latest thing I read was that eye witnesses are saying the restrain was down when the train left the station. It's definitely sounding more like she wasn't properly restrained than a failure of the restraint.

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Saturday, July 20, 2013 4:44 PM

egieszl said:

DejaVuNitro said:

I've had multiple bars pop one click because of this, though it's never an issue because the next ratchet catches fully.

In all my years of riding I've never experienced a lap bar that has released one click while riding. How would you even know this?

You said it's happened multiple times, so why have I never experienced it?

It has happened to me on Magnum several times over the years. It was usually when the bar was too tight on my lap and then pop up a notch during the ride. Sometimes it would on the lift. A couple times it actually unlocked completely and remained that way throughout the entire ride, in which I notified the ride-op and they roped off the seat.

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Saturday, July 20, 2013 5:04 PM

Tekwardo said:

The latest thing I read was that eye witnesses are saying the restrain was down when the train left the station. It's definitely sounding more like she wasn't properly restrained than a failure of the restraint.

Exactly. While it's entirely possible that there was an equipment failure, that seems far from the simplest or most likely explanation. This looks very much like a case of human error in the form of a rider not being secured properly.

Saturday, July 20, 2013 5:15 PM
eightdotthree's avatar

Yup. Sounds like another Six Flags screw up that cost someone their life.

They didn’t secure her right. One of the employes from the park — one of the ladies — she asked her to click her more than once, and they were like, ‘As long you heard it click, You’re OK.’ Everybody else is like, ‘Click, click, click.’ Hers only clicked once. Hers was the only one that went down once, and she didn’t feel safe, but they let her still get on the ride. …

Just terrible. My thoughts are with her family and friends.

Saturday, July 20, 2013 5:36 PM
kpjb's avatar

I don't trust any eyewitness accounts. People will say anything to have their face on the news. We'll find out in time what really happened, and until I see an official report, everything else is just speculation.

That being said, I still do not equate "negligent ride op" with "Six Flags screw up."


Saturday, July 20, 2013 5:41 PM

The witness quoted above is far from credible. She's described the bars as clicking when they close and it's pretty obvious from the discussion here that isn't the case. She's also said that she was waiting in line for a train after the one that was part of the accident and then proceeded to describe how the victim was ejected from the train. She couldn't have seen that from the station or from on board another train.

Saturday, July 20, 2013 5:43 PM

I highly doubt the restraint failed. If the lady was over weight and has never ridden an intense coaster it could have been a freak incident in which she was leaning to far the wrong way at the wrong time, and since she was top heavy gravity pulled her out. Thats exactly what happened to Stanley Mordanski on SROS at Sfne on the last right turn before the brake run.

Last edited by gamerguy, Saturday, July 20, 2013 5:46 PM
Saturday, July 20, 2013 6:11 PM

I've always wondered what techniques investigators use to determine the cause of the accident. Are there sensors that monitor restraints or are they looking for wear on the latches?

Saturday, July 20, 2013 6:37 PM

They are going to be looking at the evidence available in an effort to determine what went wrong. Eyewitness accounts, photos and video, and a mechanical inspection of the train and seat. Did something break or give way? How was the rider secured? What are the forces involved? At what point in the ride did the rider leave the train?

As in any investigation, the objective is to essentially build a model (figuratively, of course) of the incident, to identify with some certainty the particular conditions which led to the incident.

Then you work backwards through the chain of events to attempt to identify the proximate cause of the incident and any contributing factors.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Saturday, July 20, 2013 8:12 PM

Other sites have linked to alleged photos of the victim. It goes without saying that if those alleged pictures are accurate, then body shape is the issue.

Of course, most of us guessed body shape from the moment we heard details about the nature of the accident.

Saturday, July 20, 2013 9:18 PM
coasterqueenTRN's avatar

My thoughts and prayers go out to her family. I can't even imagine what they are going through, especially her children.


Saturday, July 20, 2013 9:28 PM

I think that they probably won't ride another roller coaster. How old are her children?

Saturday, July 20, 2013 9:33 PM

I am just curious, does anyone know if they dispatched the other train(s) before they determined she fell out?

Six Flags still employs the MCBF ride-op on this ride. I have found that odd since the redesign, figuring that I don't think the MCBR gets used, even if the station isn't clear.

I am wondering if this employee saw the accident. If so, my thoughts and prayers for that person (along with any witness) and the obvious thoughts and prayers for the family. I can't imagine how traumatic it must be to lose a family member on a ride like this, or see it occur for that matter. People aren't supposed to die riding coasters.

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Saturday, July 20, 2013 11:42 PM
Tommytheduck's avatar

I mean no disrepect to the victim or the family by posting this, but here goes...

Since no one else has posted it yet, I will. This article includes a picture of the victim:


And while I have never seen this person with my own eyes, she looks a bit large in this picture.

Last edited by Tommytheduck, Saturday, July 20, 2013 11:47 PM
Saturday, July 20, 2013 11:47 PM

What a horrible event, my heart goes out to the victim. I do think some restraints do need to be relooked at.

On Viper at SFGAm, my lap bar went full open on the turnaround just before the double dip 10 years or so ago.

Recently, I had the misfortune of riding Skyrush. During my first ride I lowered the lap bar until it made contact with my thighs without stapling myself in (like I do on every ride,) on that second hill I felt the sensation of my butt not just flying up but also foreward to the point where I feared I was about to be ejected from the ride. Thankfully I was holding onto the restraint and pulled down while my reflexes kicked in and I flexed my knees to prevent it from happening. I have never experienced such fear on a roller coaster before, and too be honest, I dont know if I was ever in any danger, but it sure felt like it. Later that evening I tried the ride again (stapling myself this time) and learned why most people call the thing Thighcrush. That ride despiratly needs a secondary restraint (seat belt) to takes some of the bruit force away from the lap bar. I think it is because unlike the B&M hypers that have you seated with your hips at an acute angle, Intamin has you seated at 90 degrees.

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Saturday, July 20, 2013 11:52 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

It was reported that the lap bar was in place when the train came back to the station.

What I find telling is that I haven't heard any reports of iron rattler being closed.

Edit: apparently it is closed now.

Last edited by Tekwardo, Saturday, July 20, 2013 11:54 PM

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Sunday, July 21, 2013 12:00 AM
sirloindude's avatar

I'm quite surprised at the number of claims I'm reading about how so many of you have had restraints pop fully open. Up until this thread, I'd never heard of anyone making such claims except as part of urban legends.

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Sunday, July 21, 2013 12:24 AM

RideMan said:

As for lap bars popping open...

I know that there have been cases of ratchet bars partially unlatching mid-ride. I know Thunder Run's original train was known to have that problem,

I don't know when they got a 'new' train but this happened to me in 2003 on my way to Stark Raven Mad (yes, THAT Stark Raven Mad). Worse than that, on the previous circuit my seatbelt unknowingly disengaged mid-course (I discovered it when I got back to the station). If both had happened on the same ride I would have been in trouble come the 'bump' that happens after the first turn.

"I've been born again my whole life." -SAVED
Sunday, July 21, 2013 12:36 AM
LostKause's avatar

Thanks for sharing the photo of the lady, Tommy. Seeing a picture of her helps me to feel like I know her better, and makes me realize more clearly that she was a human being. It makes this whole incident more real.

I have heard of lap bars and shoulder harnesses coming loose and not re-locking during a ride. I am pretty sure it has happened to me before, and I remember telling the ride operator at the time. I do not remember which park or coaster, not do I remember when. I do recall that it was at least over a decade ago.

I think it happened once on Camden Park's Big Dipper, and one on Cedar Point's Corkscrew. I know that I have had a few more instances like this, but I can't remember exactly.


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