Parents of rampant daughter killed in Ride Sue theme park

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DENVER (AP) – On his family’s first trip since the start of the pandemic, 6-year-old Wongel Estifanos made a vertical descent through a Colorado amusement park with his uncle, aunt and cousins ​​the last month.

When the ground loosened beneath them, everyone else fell in their seats into a 110-foot (34-meter) underground shaft. But Wongel, who was not strapped to her seat, plunged to her death, according to a complaint filed by her parents against the park on Wednesday.

After the ride stopped at the bottom, Wongel’s uncle looked to see if she liked him and was horrified to see that she was out of place. Instead, he saw his bruised body at the bottom of the well.

“While Wongel’s uncle and other family members on the ride screamed in horror and tried to get out of the ride to run towards Wongel, the ride did not release them and brought them back to 110 feet. to the top of the mine shaft, ”lawsuit said.

The lawsuit alleges that Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park caused the girl’s death on September 5 recklessly by failing to train operators of the Haunted Mine Drop ride despite previous issues with her seat belts.

State investigators concluded Wongel’s death was the result of multiple operator errors. The girl sat on two seat belts instead of wearing them on her lap, and two newly hired operators never noticed her despite checks, according to a report from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment released on last month.

Investigators also found that an alarm system was warning of a problem, but one of the workers reset it and started the ride because they were not trained enough to know what to do about it. , according to the report.

The lawsuit contains the findings of the investigation and alleges the park has failed to deliver two previous complaints about passengers not being originally tied to the ride, from 2018 and 2019, state investigators say .

In a statement, park officials said they could not comment on the ongoing litigation, but offered their condolences to Wongel’s family. “Our hearts go out to the Estifanos family and to those who have been touched by their loss,” he said.

Wongel’s parents Estifanos Dagne and Rahel Estifanos are taking legal action so that they and the public can know the full truth about what happened, their lawyer, Dan Caplis, said in a statement.

“Their mission is to protect other families by holding full responsibility for their daughter’s murder and sending a strong and clear message to the entire theme park industry,” he said.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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