Communications & PR strategist cyberjournalist
For millions of locals and tourists visiting San Antonio, a trip to the amusement park brings memories to last a lifetime. But for some, the memories will be painful: missing teeth, broken bones and concussions to name a few. News 4 San Antonio looked into the state's recordkeeping of accidents reported to the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) -- basically, those injuries that may have triggered an insurance claim against Schlitterbahn, Splashtown, SeaWorld, Fiesta Texas and ZDT's since 2013.
To date, the TDI received reports of 78 injuries for the San Antonio area amusement parks. Injuries like the one sustained by a Louisiana woman whose ride at SeaWorld's Stingray Falls came to an abrupt end in 2014. Her attorneys say the water thrust Lisa Castille's float at the finish, causing her to land on her shoulder, which the suit contends was broken on some concrete steps.
Bexar County District Court records show 8 active lawsuits against local amusement parks, including a case of a severed fingertip 7-year old Alexia Burgos's family says the young girl received at Fiesta Texas' Hustler ride. In the lawsuit, attorneys for the Burgos family say she was holding onto a wheel when a sharp item below it severed her finger in 2016.
Six Flags Fiesta Texas' Sydne Purvis said, "The safety of our guests and employees is our highest priority. We invest the greatest amount of resources in our safety programs. Six Flags has an excellent safety record and one of the most comprehensive safety programs in our industry. In addition to our daily inspections, all of our rides are inspected by a third party independent ride consulting firm, by state ride inspectors, by insurance inspectors, by Six Flags Corporate Engineers and by Six Flags Corporate Safety experts."
The safety measures taken at Fiesta Texas mirror those at the other amusement parks. All are required to use state-certified inspectors who submit the certifications for the rides to the TDI. The state requires amusement parks to provide proof of insurance along with the annual inspections.
Although the TDI is not an enforcement agency, its records indicate the amount of accidents remain a small percentage of the thousands of visitors who descend upon San Antonio's amusement parks every summer.
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