Parents of 6-year-old girl killed at Colorado amusement park file wrongful death complaint


Wongel Estifanos died at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park on September 5 after “operators failed to notice she was sitting on both seat belts,” according to a state report.

“Today the parents of Wongel Estifanos took the first step in their battle for the full truth and full responsibility of the amusement park that killed their beloved 6 year old daughter,” lawyer Dan said. Caplis on behalf of the parents in a released statement. at CNN.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday in Denver District Court, names the amusement park as the sole defendant and claims Wongel was killed by “extreme recklessness.” According to the lawsuit, his parents are claiming “economic and non-economic damages for past and future wrongful deaths.”

The lawsuit alleges that not only did Glenwood Caverns and the operators know that they had not properly buckled Wongel in the ride, but that prior to Wongel’s death, Glenwood Caverns knew that its operators did not put seat belts on some of their runners who had previously frequented the park. The incidents occurred on the drop of the haunted mine, the route Wongel was on when she was killed, he said.

“They’re obviously crushed, losing a child, but to lose a child to that kind of recklessness in that way, they’re just crushed,” Caplis told CNN. “They are absolutely determined to hold this theme park fully accountable through this lawsuit and they rightly believe that they will protect other families by doing so.”

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.

Girl was not tied to the ride, state report says

An investigation by the Petroleum and Public Safety Division of the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment found Wongel was not attached to the ride when it launched, according to a report released in September.

“There are two seat belts for each passenger, but” when Mrs. Estifanos, a six year old girl, sat on the ride, the operators did not notice that she was sitting on the two seat belts The report says.

“Because Ms. Estifanos was not restrained in the seat, she separated from her seat and fell to the bottom of the well (Haunted Mine Drop), resulting in her death,” the report said.

Park founder Steve Beckley told CNN in September that owners, management and the park itself were heartbroken by the accident.

“It is impossible to imagine the pain of loss that the Estifanos family and their friends are going through,” Beckley’s statement read. “Safety is, and always has been, our top priority. Since opening our first ride just over 15 years ago, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park has delivered over 10 million safe and enjoyable rides.

The park worked closely with OPS and “independent safety experts” to examine the crash, Beckley said.

Dagne and Rahel Estifanos will use their lawsuit to “force the full truth to be disclosed to them, as well as to the public.” Their mission is to protect other families by holding fully accountable all those responsible for the murder of their daughter and by sending a strong and clear message to the entire theme park industry, ”according to their statement. lawyer.

CNN’s Amir Vera, Amanda Jackson, Carma Hassan, Rachel Webb and Leslie Perrot contributed to this report.

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