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Theme parks are popular attractions for people of all ages. In most cases, trips to the theme park end with happy memories and cherished photographs. However, theme parks also involve a significant amount of danger, especially for the most adventurous patrons. When theme park rides aren’t properly built, maintained, and/or operated, serious injury and even death can result. Although there is no way to erase all of the damage a theme park accident inflicts on victims and their families, compensation may be available.
While many people are aware of accidents that take place at big-name parks such as Six Flags, the smaller parks can be just as dangerous. These are the accidents that have taken place at Wonderland Park in Amarillo.
Undone Seatbelt on the Mouse Trap
The most recent incident at Wonderland Park involved a father and his six-year-old son. The two were riding on the Mouse Trap – one of the park’s most popular roller coasters – when the child’s seatbelt became undone, throwing him into the bottom of the cart. The boy’s father, who was filming as they rode the coaster, caught the entire incident on camera. As soon as the father became aware of what had happened, he grabbed his son and held onto him for the rest of the ride. At the end of the ride, the child’s father told the operator what had happened, but the operator chose to let the rollercoaster continue to operate. The operator also told the boy’s father that similar incidents had happened on the same ride in the past.
In this particular case, the roller coaster’s malfunction did not lead to any injuries or deaths. However, the incident is still deeply disturbing. Not only did the ride malfunction on this specific occasion, but it has malfunctioned on previous occasions as well. The operators are aware of the roller coaster’s safety issues, but they are continuing to allow people to ride it on a daily basis. As more and more patrons ride this roller coaster, the risk of injury and death increases.
Malfunction on the Ride of Fear
In 2015, a girl was riding Ride of Fear when she heard a loud pop and a piece of metal fell onto her head. After the incident occurred, the operator stopped the ride and released all of the riders. After experiencing dizziness and other distressing symptoms, the girl went to the hospital and was diagnosed with a concussion.
Not only was this falling metal dangerous, but it also indicates that the ride was ill-maintained. The piece of metal that fell was part of the ride’s operating system; had the girl not been injured before the ride started, she likely would have been once the faulty ride took off.
Death on the Zyklon
Perhaps the most serious incident at Wonderland took place in 1987, when a teenage boy was killed on a roller coaster known as “Zyklon.”
15-year-old Miguel Perez begged his mother to let him ride the Zyklon “just one more time.” That last ride would prove to be deadly. Toward the end of the ride, the boy’s restraining bar was released prematurely, and he was thrown from the coaster. Emergency medical professionals were not able to save him. It was the first death in the park’s 36-year history.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a theme park accident, you need to file a lawsuit against the park as soon as possible. In order to ensure that you have the best chance of winning in court, you should always seek counsel from a qualified and experienced personal injury attorney.
At Hernandez Law Group, P.C., we understand how detrimental an incident like this can be to your life and your future. We have many years of experience representing personal injury victims, and we will work tirelessly to get you the justice you deserve. Juan Hernandez is one of very few board-certified personal injury attorneys in the state, and he is dedicated to helping every client recover the maximum amount of damages. Please contact our firm today to learn more about your options or to schedule a consultation.