Woman’s weight likely under scrutiny in roller coaster death - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Woman’s weight likely under scrutiny in roller coaster death

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Amusement park operator Six Flags on Monday closed another roller coaster that is similar in design to the Dallas-area ride where a woman fell to her death, Friday night.

The "Iron Rattler" at San Antonio's Six Flags Fiesta Texas is temporarily out-of-service while investigators work to pin down the cause of an accident on the "Texas Giant" at Six Flags Over Texas.

According to a witness, 52-year old Rosy Esparza complained aloud about her lap-bar restraint just moments before she was thrown from the 14-story "Texas Giant" roller coaster.

Esparza was a heavyset woman and a Houston accident-reconstruction expert says her weight may well have been a factor in the accident.

"We've had similar situations in other rides where larger people have been ejected," said Bob Swint, CEO of ATA Associates, a forensic engineering firm. "So this is a concern. This is, I think, what most of the observers are looking at, relative to the possible cause of this injury and death."

Swint once worked the case of an overweight man who was injured after flying off a Superman roller coaster in New York State.

He says the victim's girth prevented the proper placement of the ride's lap-bar restraint. And that – combined with other factors – contributed to the accident.

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