Water parks and amusement parks are meant to serve as a refreshing stress-reliever for American families. However, tragedy struck on Independence Day weekend when an 11-year-old child died and three others were injured after a waterpark raft flipped over at Adventureland Park in Altoona, Iowa.

The child who died was named Michael Jaramillo and the names of the injured occupants have not been released.

Sadly, amusement park accidents and deaths are not entirely uncommon, especially when the park has not conducted the necessary safety checks and maintained rides to mandated standards. Many park owners seek to save money by using cheaper materials or rushing the building process, which generates a smaller overhead until someone’s loved one was killed in an accident.

It seems that the “Raging River” water ride had passed its safety inspection before opening to the public for the 2021 season.

“Safety is the number one priority at Adventureland,” said Adventureland’s attorney Guy Cook in a statement to the Associated Press. “The Raging River ride has been in operation for nearly four decades. It is a safe ride.”

The ride’s conveyor belt is where everything went wrong, investigators say. It’s supposed to move rafts through faux river rapids, but when Jaramillo’s raft overturned, he was pushed under the water for too long, drowning in the process.

Detectives are working with Adventureland and state inspectors to understand how such a tragic accident happened. The Raging River ride has since been closed so that investigators can further understand what went wrong and how to prevent further deaths.

Jaramillo is not the only victim of the Raging River ride in recent years. The last time someone died at Adventureland was in 2016 when a 68-year-old employee, Steve Booher, fell onto the conveyor belt and fractured his skull, suffering major brain damage.

The elderly employee died four days later. Last December, the park managed to reach a settlement with his family’s wrongful death lawyer for an undisclosed sum.

If a loved one is ever injured or killed on an amusement park ride, you 100% have grounds to reach out to a personal injury attorney in Newport Beach to file an injury lawsuit. Amusement parks are supposed to do everything they can to ensure that all guests remain safe, and you were right to trust them in this duty. If the park fails and someone is hurt or killed, they need to be held financially responsible.

Our personal injury law firm is here to help you heal. Call us to set up a free case evaluation.