Colorado theme park that killed 6-year-old had previous seatbelt complaints, lawsuit says


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Prior to the accident, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park had previous complaints about passengers not being properly protected.

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The family of a 6-year-old girl who died at a Colorado theme park last month has been sued for wrongful death at the park after operators failed to properly secure their daughter to a ride in the park.

Estefanos Dagne and Rachel Estefanos, parents of 6-year-old Vongel Estefanos, sued Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park on Tuesday, according to a copy of the lawsuit obtained by Granthshala News.


“The family is crushed,” Dan Capallis, the attorney representing Estefanos Dagné and Rachel Estefanos, told Granthshala News. “That’s one reason they’re doing it. They want to make sure no other family is ever devastated like this again, that no other child is ever killed like this again.”

In an email to Granthshala News, a spokesperson for Glenwood Caverns said: “It would be inappropriate to comment on the pending lawsuit. Our hearts are with the Estefanos family and those affected by their loss.”

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6-year-old child dies due to theme park ride operators: Report

Vongel died on September 5, after falling from 110 feet on the Haunted Mine Drop Ride at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. District officials after the incident Colorado Division of Oil and Public Safety issued a report which found that Vongel was not properly secured in her seat by the ride operators.

According to the lawsuit filed by Vongel’s parents, the 6-year-old was riding Haunted Mine Drop with her uncle, who believed ride operators were “properly securing Vongel on the ride.”

However, when the ride stopped under a 110-foot mine shaft, Vongel’s uncle reportedly looked to see if his niece had enjoyed the ride, but was instead “stricken with panic” when he saw it. that she was not in her seat.

“Vongel’s uncle saw Vongel’s body battered under the mine shaft,” the lawsuit states. “Vongel had died, suffering from multiple fractures, brain injuries, and internal and external wounds.”

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According to the lawsuit, there were at least two other incidents at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park where ride operators failed to ensure that all riders were properly tied up, one in July 2018 and one in August 2019.

The lawsuit says that in a 2018 incident, a woman emailed Glenwood Caverns to inform the park that a teenage boy she was riding with was not properly secured on the ride.

According to the lawsuit, a human resources manager at the theme park responded to the woman, saying the park had been notified of the incident and that the operators would be retrained.

The other riders shouted ‘Wait!’ The operators reportedly left the room to deploy the ride, despite the ‘Wait!’ on operators,” the lawsuit stated. Before the ride was deployed, the operators reportedly turned back and put on seatbelts on the rider.

In a 2019 incident, a man reportedly emailed Glenwood Caverns to inform that while he was on the ride, he had informed the ride operator that he was not behind, but the operator had “argued with the passenger and insisted that the passenger was stuck in,” the lawsuit said.

“The passenger insisted that he did not go in, and eventually the operator further checked and confirmed that the passenger had not been hooked,” the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit states that the family is seeking wrongful death damages and notes that both incidents involved “the same negligent failure that later killed Vongel.”

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According to the report from the Colorado Division of Oil and Public Safety, Vongal was not properly secured in his seat.

The ride operators apparently did not notice that she was sitting on top of her seatbelt instead of being properly strapped. When the ride’s system alerted operators to the issue, they reportedly took “several wrong steps” and sent the ride away after resetting the seatbelts. Monitor

State officials inspected the ride several days after the incident and determined that the ride itself was running smoothly.

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The report concluded that the ride’s operators had not prepared the ride properly before passengers were allowed to board. The seat belt was apparently taken off during the last ride when the seat was empty and was not unfastened after that ride returned to the station.

Ride operators also violated the Amusement Ride and Equipment Regulations by not following proper operating procedures.

The report also stated that the operating manual of the ride did not properly instruct the operators on how to correct the errors.

Granthshala News’ Michael Holen contributed to this report.

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