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Three Year Old's Death Highlights Theme Park Dangers

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San Antonio, TXGuests and workers at theme parks are at risk of amusement park injuries. Their injuries could be caused by faulty equipment, improper maintenance or negligence on the part of theme park employees. While a recent death at a theme park illustrates that workers face risks at theme parks, guests must also watch themselves and their children, to be sure they do not suffer life-threatening injuries.

A theme park employee, whose name has not been released, was reportedly working on a rooftop air conditioning unit at SeaWorld San Antonio when he received a deadly electric shock. According to Express-News (8/25/12), the man was repairing the unit with another employee when he attempted to check how much current the broken unit was receiving. Emergency personnel were called to the scene after the victim was injured, but he was declared dead at the scene.

Meanwhile, a report by the Chicago Tribune (8/26/12) recounts a horrific accident in which a three-year-old boy was killed when he escaped from a ride restraint, fell from his car and was hit by the roller coaster. The mother had reportedly been told she did not have to ride with her twin sons on the ride, even though ride operators in other states had said the exact same ride was unsafe for children who were the victim's height. Some operators installed seatbelts on the same ride, not leaving the riders' safety to a restraint.

A lawsuit filed against Go Bananas—the theme park where Jayson Dansby was killed—resulted in a $3.1 million settlement, with the owner of the theme park denying any wrongdoing. Although Go Bananas was cited for poor record keeping, no fault or blame was assigned to the theme park in the death.

Instead, Jayson, the three-year-old victim, was blamed for standing while on the ride. The Tribune notes that the officials who investigated the accident did not have the authority to investigate whether the height requirements or safety restraints were adequate. Because nothing on the ride appeared to be broken, and because the ride operator did not err in allowing Jayson on the ride, the accident was blamed on Jayson's actions.

This means, however, that nothing has changed in how that ride is operated, possibly putting other children at risk of a similar accident.


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