Parents of 6-year-old girl killed on Colorado amusement park ride file wrongful death suit

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According to a state report, Vongel Estefanos died on September 5 at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park after “operators did not notice that she was sitting on both seat belts.”

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“Today the parents of Vongel Estefanos took the first step in their fight for full truth and full accountability from the amusement park that killed their beloved 6-year-old daughter,” attorney Dan Capallis said in a statement on behalf of the parents. said. to Granthshala.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday in Denver district court, names the amusement park as the sole defendant and claims Vongel was killed by “extreme negligence.” According to the lawsuit, her parents are seeking “past and future pecuniary and non-economic wrongful death damages.”


The lawsuit alleges that not only were Glenwood Caverns and operators aware that they had not belted Vongel properly in the ride, but that prior to Vongel’s death, Glenwood Caverns had knowledge that its operators had been seated on some of their riders. who had failed to put on the belt, previously participated in the park. The incidents took place at the Haunted Mine Drop, Vongel’s ride was running at the time he was killed, it states.

“They’re obviously crushed, losing a child, but to lose a child because of this kind of carelessness, they’re just crushed,” Capallis told Granthshala. “They are absolutely determined to hold this amusement park fully accountable through this lawsuit and they rightly believe they will protect other families by doing so.”

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Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park did not immediately respond to Granthshala’s request for comment.

Girl was not tied to the ride, state report finds

According to a report released in September, an investigation by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment Division of Oil and Public Safety revealed that the Vongel was not tied to the ride at launch.

“There are two seatbelts for each passenger, but “when Ms. Estefanos, a six-year-old girl, sat on the ride, the operators did not notice that she was sitting on top of both seatbelts,” the report said.

“Because Ms. Estefanos was not placed on the seat, she fell out of her seat and fell down the (haunted mine drop) shaft, resulting in her death,” the report said. .

The park’s founder, Steve Beckley, told Granthshala in September that the owner, management and the park itself were “heartbroken” by the accident.

“There is no way to imagine the pain of loss to the Estefanos family and their friends,” Beckley’s statement said. “Safety is, and always has been, our top priority. Since launching our first ride 15 years ago, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park has provided more than 10 million safe and recreational rides.”

Beckley said the park is working closely with the OPS and “independent safety experts” to review the accident.

Dagne and Rachel Estefanos will use their trial to “force them to reveal the whole truth to them and to the public. Their mission is to protect the other families who are fully accountable for their daughter’s murder, and by sending A loud and clear message to the entire amusement park industry,” according to the statement from his lawyer.

Granthshala’s Amir Vera, Amanda Jackson, Karma Hassan, Rachel Webb and Leslie Perot contributed to this report.


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