Report: Texas Rollercoaster Victim’s Body Was Found Partially Severed

Firefighters took an hour to find the body near the lower track of the ride

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A view of The Texas Giant roller coaster at Six Flags Over Texas on July 22.

The body of a Texas woman who died when she was sent flying from a roller coaster in July was found partially severed and strewn across a roof, according to a new report.

The new report from the Arlington Police Department details the grisly death of Rosa Ayala-Gaona Esparza, 52, after she was flung from the Texas Giant roller coaster at a Six Flags amusement park on July 19. The report says it took firefighters an hour to find her body, the Houston Chronicle reports; it was “partially wrapped around” a support beam with her lower body lying on top of the roof and “nearly severed upper body hanging over the south side of the roof.”

Investigators interviewed 17 witnesses, including the coaster operator, who remembered thinking Esparza’s restraint was not all the way down on her thigh. The restraint was secure enough that the ride’s computer registered it as locked, the operator said.

Esparza’s daughter said she turned around and saw her mother upside down early in the ride, and witnesses sitting directly behind the victim said they tried to help when they saw Esparza’s feet in the air, but were unable to reach her, according to the report.

She was seated by herself in a car behind her daughter and son-in-law during the fatal accident. The victim’s family filed a lawsuit against Six Flags last month in district court, but the amusement park says independent contractors were liable for the design of the restraint system.

“Our hearts remain heavy about this accident and our sincerest condolences go out to Ms. Esparza’s family,” the park said in a statement Monday.

[Houston Chronicle]