Rodeo ride safety priority following last year's death

February 28, 2012 5:44:02 AM PST
Safety is the first priority on this first day of the 2012 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. This comes after a rider died on the last day of the carnival last year.

As a result of the death last year, there is a new reality at the Rodeo this year. That includes instructions that will be handed to patrons about safety.

Last March, Brian Greenhouse fell to his death from a ride called the Hi-Miler on the final day of the Rodeo. The 47-year-old's family sued the Rodeo and Ray Cammack shows, the carnival operator.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission found nothing wrong with the Hi-Miler, but the ride won't be back this year, either. The Rodeo admits it did receive a complaint from a rider two years before Greenhouse's death, claiming a bar popped up and a child was endangered.

Greenhouse's family says he was ejected because the ride did not properly restrain him. The Hi-Miler was taken apart before the investigation began, and some attendees claimed problems with lap bars, but said operators didn't speak English and didn't understand the complaints.

As a result, guests will receive an information pamphlet about common sense as well as height, weight and agility standards for riders. There will also be Spanish-speaking and English-speaking operators on hand.

But Greenhouse's family maintains something went terribly wrong last year and they believe it should never have happened.

"No one should fly out of a roller coaster when it's moving. When you pay, you should have the expectation and belief that the ride is going to be safe and that you're going to be secure on that ride for the duration of the ride," said Greenhouse family attorney Tony Denena.

A settlement meeting between the Greenhouse family and the Rodeo and carnival operator could happen next month.


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