TODAY   |  July 22, 2013

Roller coaster closed after woman falls to death

Serious questions have been raised about roller coaster safety after a woman fell to her death at a Six Flags amusement park in Arlington, Texas, Friday night. Witnesses say the mom had concerns about her lap bar restraint even before the ride started. NBC’s Janet Shamlian reports.

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>> developments in the investigation in a deadly amusement park accident in texas . what lead a woman to fall to her death? janet is in arlington this morning with the latest.

>> reporter: good morning to you. the texas mom that fell to her death on the roller coaster was concerned about her safety restraint even before the ride left according to witnesses. the park is going to be open today but the ride is closed until a new safety inspection . just as millions of americans pour into the nation's amusement parks , a deadly accident is bringing new focus into the safety of roller coasters . a texas mom, rosy esparza fell from the 14 story high roller coaster at the six flags amusement park .

>> the guys that were sitting right behind the lady said right when they came down off the first bump and hit that first turn they flew out.

>> witnesses say esparza was concerned about her lap bar restraint even before the ride started asking operators to click her bar more than once but six flags said the hydraulic seat restraint on the texas apology yanlt does not make a clicking noise.

>> there's no system which could have included a lap belt . doesn't mean you still can't get killed or things can't happen, it means that the protective level is increased significantly when there's a back up system.

>> reporter: since texas is one of 21 states without official government oversight to investigate amusement park accidents six flags is leading it's own investigation into esparza 's death. it's not the only theme park accident this weekend. in ohio seven were hurt after their boat rolled backwards down a hill and flipped over in water. all seven were treated and released. bottom line, while most rides and parks are safe, riders should remain cautious.

>> take a look around. read the ruls. follow the instructions. pay attention to the operator. if you don't like what you hear or see, don't get on it.

>> reporter: this morning, this is the park itself that's investigating. no law enforcement agency or government agency to determine whether this was a mechanical problem or perhaps, david, the result of human error , back to you.