Zipline Worker Death ‘Never Should Have Happened’, Says San Diego Attorney – NBC 7 San Diego

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Family friends and colleagues resisted the midday heat to serve fish tacos in a parking lot on the Rincon Indian Reservation on Friday to raise money for the funeral of a local zipline worker who died on Friday. Last weekend.

The accident at the La Jolla Indian Reservation in the Pauma Valley made national headlines, and there is no shortage of people who took care of the victim.

An online fundraiser for the funeral of Joaquin Romero, 34, has already exceeded its goal of more than $ 14,000.

The medical examiner’s office said Romero died trying to help a client who had just completed the La Jolla Zip Zoom course.

A San Diego lawyer says that should never have happened.

“This incident should never have happened,” said attorney Bill Berman. “Many safety protocols were broken which resulted in this tragedy. The operator should have been strapped to the line himself by wearing a safety harness. These are basic operating rules.”

Berman is not directly linked to this case but settled a lawsuit against another zip line operator three years ago after a serious personal injury accident in Escondido.

He says not only are riders always expected to be harnessed and strapped in, but the ride attendants themselves should be strapped in and harnessed at all times, even when they are on the receiving platform.

Joaquin Romero was working at La Jolla Zip Zoom outdoor attraction in Pauma Valley when he fell

“There was obviously a break in policies and procedures,” Berman said.

NBC 7 contacted the zip line operator for a response, but they did not respond. We also tried to reach them in person, but on Friday the attraction road was closed.

“So the problem we see with ziplines is that they’re not well regulated,” Berman explained.

He suspects this is because many ziplines are stand-alone rides, which means they aren’t part of an amusement park, which he says makes them less likely to get a visit from them. ‘an OSHA inspector.

“We as the general public have great faith in the operators and owners of these attractions,” said Berman.

According to the co-author of a zipline injury study, there were only 10 commercial ziplines in the United States in 2001. Today, 57 commercial zipline courses operate in the state of California alone, which did not begin to regulate them until 2014..

“These are rides,” Berman said. “They are popular. They are funny. They are exciting so it is very important that these ride owners and operators do everything possible to ensure that these rides are properly maintained and properly used. “

Because the La Jolla Zip Zoom zipline is on tribal land, it is not subject to Cal OSHA inspections. This responsibility rests with the federal OSHA. NBC 7 has asked them for a copy of the latest ride inspection and we are still awaiting a response.

La Jolla Zip Zoom is touted as the longest zipline course “of its kind” in California. Its course is over a mile long, reaches 55 mph, and peaks at over 2,700 feet from the ground.

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