A six-year-old Colorado girl who died on a theme park ride in early September was not correctly strapped into her thrill ride seat, causing her to plummet 110 feet to the ground.
While on vacation with her family in Glenwood Springs during Labor Day weekend, little Wongel Estifanos was thrown from the Haunted Mine Drop ride.
Investigators discovered that the child was sitting on top of two seatbelts that were fastened together rather than wearing them across her lap. The tail flap from her seatbelt pulled over her lap, making the operators think she was buckled in. In addition to that, two newly hired operators did not correctly check before launching the fateful ride, reports The Denver Post.
Although an alarm system had signaled that the girl’s belt was still fastened from the previous ride, one of the workers reset the system and started the ride because they were not trained well enough to recognize or respond to a problem.
“Operators took several incorrect actions and reset the ride seatbelt monitors which allowed them to dispatch the ride,” officials wrote in their report as New York Post reported.
Shortly after the 120-second ride was over, Estifanos was found to have fallen from her seat. During the autopsy, multiple blunt force injuries were observed on the young girl’s body.
“The report makes it clear this is the fault of the park, not the fault of the rider,” family attorney Dan Caplis said.
“The park was fully responsible to ensure everyone was restrained. This is not one of those rides where the rider is responsible for anything, including buckling themselves in. The park is supposed to do all of that. The report makes it clear that this could have been so easily prevented.”
Officials stated the ride at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park would remain closed following Wongel Estifanos’ death. After the tragic incident, the park also sent its condolences to the family.
“There is no way we can imagine the pain of loss that the Estifanos family and their friends are experiencing,” the park stated Friday in a statement, according to CBS Denver. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to them. Safety is, and always has been, our top priority.”
“More than anything, we want the Estifanos family to know how deeply sorry we are for their loss and how committed we are to making sure it never happens again,” the amusement park added.