Man dies after falling off roller coaster at Rodeo carnival

A 46-year-old man was on a ride called the "Hi-Miler", when he fell around 9:30pm
March 24, 2011 8:12:13 AM PDT
The last night of the rodeo ended in tragedy. A man fell to his death from one of the carnival's roller coasters. We learned more about the victim and the ride's safety record Monday.

Safety teams inspected the ride after the accident and found no malfunctions, but we talked to a woman who says she rode that same ride last week with her six-year-old son. She claims the safety latch came undone.

As crews begin to disassemble the carnival rides at the Houston Rodeo, serious questions are being raised about the safety of one of them -- the "Hi-Miler" rollercoaster.

Sunday night, 47-year-old Brian Greenhouse was riding the rollercoaster when he plunged nearly 30 feet to his death. He hit a man down below who suffered a broken ankle.

Rodeo Houston Chief Operating Officer Leroy Shafer says it's unclear how Greenhouse fell.

"This car was looked at from top to bottom. The restraint was still down. The lap strap was still down. The bar was still down," Leroy Shafer said.

The Hi-Miler and all the other carnival rides are inspected daily by independent safety consultants hired by the rodeo and by RCS -- the company that owns and operates them. The ride has a pretty good safety record with only one injury reported in its 31 years of service; however, Myra Rock rode that same ride Wednesday with her son, and she told us the safety bar on her car came loose halfway through the ride.

Rodeo officials maintain there's never been a documented complaint of a loose safety bar.

"We went through the rest of the ride and I had to hold the bar and hold him at the same time," Rock said. "When I got off the ride, I let the operator know that the bar was not working and he told me he knew and he would take care of it."

Sunday night's accident is still under investigation as officials wait for autopsy results.


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