A family trip to a Colorado amusement park ended in a 6-year-old child’s death.
According to USA Today, 6-year-old Wongel Estifanos, was killed when she fell out of her seat during a ride while with her uncle, aunt, and cousins on September 5.
Her parents filed a lawsuit against Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Colorado on Wednesday.
According to the lawsuit, the park was reckless in causing the young girl’s death by not properly training operators of the Haunted Mine Drop ride, although there had been previously reported problems with the ride’s seat belts.
After the accident, state investigators concluded that Wongel’s death was based on multiple operator errors. She had been sitting on top of two seat belts instead of having them placed across her lap. Two operators who were recently hired did not notice this despite doing checks, according to a report from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment released last month.
In the same report, the investigators also discovered that the amusement ride’s alarm system warned operators that there was a problem, but, instead of rechecking, one of the workers reset it. The worker then started the ride because they weren’t properly trained well enough to know how to correctly handle the issue, the report stated.
ABC News reported that, according to the lawsuit, the amusement park knew of at least two prior incidents back in 2018 and 2019. In those incidents, “angry and terrified customers” on the Haunted Mine Drop were not strapped properly into their seatbelts until they repeatedly told the ride operators.
The family is seeking unspecified monetary damages and has requested a jury trial and “post-trial finding that the acts causing the death of Wongel Estifanos constitute a felonious killing.”
The founder of Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, Steve Beckley, expressed his sorrow for the family’s tragedy and said the park has “been working closely with the Colorado Division of Oil and Public Safety and independent safety experts to review this incident.”