A family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit after their 6-year-old daughter died on a Colorado amusement park ride.
Wongel Estifanos, 6, plunged 110 feet from the Haunted Mine Drop ride at the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, in September.
The family’s attorney filed the lawsuit on Wednesday against the theme park, citing “reckless” acts taken by the company and its ride operators.
Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park declined to comment about the lawsuit.
“Our hearts go out to the Estifanos family and those impacted by their loss,” the company told McClatchy News.
On Sept. 5, Wongel, her brother and her parents met at the park with other relative, the lawsuit says.
Wongel, her uncle, aunt and her cousins decided to ride the Haunted Mine Drop, and the girl met the height requirements.
Her uncle watched Wongel as the operators were “interacting” with her, the lawsuit says. Then the operators launched the ride, causing the family’s cart to free fall more than 100 feet.
But Wongel was no longer in her seat once the ride reached the bottom of the “mine shaft.” Instead, her uncle saw her “battered” body,” the lawsuit says.
A study conducted by the State of Colorado Division of Oil and Public Safety on the incident found the operators had not placed the seat belt over Wongel, according to the lawsuit.
When a warning light alerted the operators to the unsecured seat belt, they still deployed the ride, the lawsuit says.
Wongel’s death wasn’t the only time passengers experienced seat belt issues at the Haunted Mine Drop, the lawsuit says.
Two incidents occurred in 2018 and 2019 when the operators failed to immediately buckle the passengers, the lawsuit says.
Operators eventually adjusted the seat belts before launching the ride.
The Haunted Mine Ride opened in 2017. It plunges riders “110 feet inside the dark depths of Iron Mountain in what feels like a free-fall,” the park said on its site before removing the ride from the website.
The park is currently open.