Woman dies on Six Flags roller coaster

Eyewitnesses say the victim fell to her death while riding the roller coaster known as "The Texas Giant" at Six Flags Over Texas on Friday.
July 20, 2013
TEXAS
Woman dies on Six Flags coaster

Authorities are investigating whether a woman who died while riding a roller coaster at a Texas amusement park had not been properly secured.

The accident happened just after 6:30 p.m. Friday at Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington. Park spokeswoman Sharon Parker confirmed that a woman died while riding the Texas Giant roller coaster — dubbed the tallest steel-hybrid coaster in the world — but did not say how she was killed. Witnesses told area media outlets that the woman fell.

“We are committed to determining the cause of this tragic accident,” Parker said in a statement Saturday.

Arlington police spokesman Sgt. Christopher Cook referred all questions to Parker. Messages left for Parker by the Associated Press were not returned.

Carmen Brown told the Dallas Morning News that she watched the woman being strapped in as she waited to board the ride. She said the woman asked a ride operator to check the bar more than once but that the operator told her she was safe. When the coaster dropped after climbing, Brown said, the safety bar released, “and she just tumbled.”

— Associated Press

California
Crews gain some control in wildfire

Crews battling a massive wildfire in Southern California on Saturday were hoping cooler weather and possible rain showers would help them contain a blaze that has forced the evacuation of 5,600 residents.

The “Mountain Fire” was 25 percent contained Saturday, up from 15 percent the day before, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. A total of 3,478 firefighters were working to control the blaze, the agency said.

— Reuters

Wisconsin
Boy found in trunk had car key with him

A 2-year-old Wisconsin boy who was found dead in the trunk of a car had the key to the vehicle with him, the family’s pastor said Saturday.

Isaiah Theis had that key and several other sets of keys with him when a deputy found his body Wednesday night, the Rev. Rick Van Gundy said. He said he got the information from the Theis family.

The deputy found the boy in the trunk of a customer’s car on his parents’ property near Centuria, where the boy’s father runs an auto repair business. Preliminary autopsy results released Friday said Isaiah likely died of hyperthermia — when body temperature spikes in the heat.

Polk County investigators have not said how Isaiah, who disappeared Tuesday night, got in the trunk. Sheriff Peter Johnson did not immediately return a phone call from AP on Saturday.

Investigators said they presumed Isaiah had wandered off while playing with his brother Tuesday night because he had a tendency to do that.

— Associated Press

Seven injured at Ohio amusement park: State inspectors are investigating how a boat on an Ohio amusement park ride rolled backward down a hill and flipped over in water, injuring seven people. The incident occurred Friday on the Shoot the Rapids ride at Cedar Point in Sandusky. Six of the injured were treated at the scene. The seventh was treated at a hospital and released. The ride remained closed.

Fisherman’s boat capsized as he was catching 230-pound tuna: A fisherman is safe after his 14-foot boat capsized as he was landing a 230-pound tuna in the ocean off Hawaii. Anthony Wichman, 54, was fishing about 10 miles southwest of Kauai on Friday morning when he hooked the Ahi tuna. Coast Guard Lt. Jessica Mickelson told Hawaii News Now that Wichman used his cellphone to call his wife for help. A Coast Guard helicopter rescued Wichman after receiving a distress call from his wife. After the rescue, friends towed the boat — and the fish — back to port.

— From wire services

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