Roller coaster death prompts questions about safety oversight
Witnesses say the woman who was killed after being thrown from a roller coaster in Texas was concerned her lap restraint did not work. NBC’s Charles Hadlock reports.
We turn to Texas now and questions of whether concerns were raised about the famous roller coaster at the six flags amusement park in Arlington right before a mother was thrown to her death. NBC's Charles Hadlock is there with more investigations tonight. Charles, good evening.
reporter: It was her first visit to six flags over Texas . On facebook postings, her family says she was having a good time until she got on the texas giant, the amusement park's star attraction featuring dramatic plangents and hairpin turns. While boarding the ride, according to witnesses, she concerned that her lap restraint was not working. She asked an attendant to check it. And an interview with darlasnews.com Carman Brown describes what she saw.
He was going through like this, doing this. and He was like --
Witnesses say she was in a panicked state as the ride took off, soaring four-storey above the park. On the first turn, tragedy struck.
The guy that was sitting right behind the lady said that right when they came down off the first bump and hit that first turn she flew out.
reporter: Six flags says it's conducting an investigation and issued a statement saying we are committed to determining the cause of this tragic accident and will utilize every resource throughout this process. But the process will apparently not involve government regulators. Texas is one of 21 states without oversight to investigate amusement park accidents .
There's absolutely no federal oversight, no state investigative oversight or any local investigative oversight.
Massachusetts' congressman now senator Ed Markey has introduced legislation every session since 1999 to establish federal regulation of amusement rides-- but the measure has repeatedly failed. Late today senator Markey renewed his call for federal regulation. Six flags is open tonight but the Texas giant remains closed as the company continues its own investigation. Lester?
Charles Hadlock, thank you.