Family Files Lawsuit After Boy Tragically Drowns On Theme Park Ride

in Theme Parks

Adventureland in Iowa

Credit: Adventureland

A family has filed a lawsuit against a popular theme park following the drowning of their son on a ride.

Safety is the top priority of any theme park that a visitor may frequent.

Whether it be a Disney Park, including Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort, or any other including Universal Orlando Resort, Universal Studios Hollywood, Six Flags, Busch Gardens, SeaWorld, the all-new Lost Island Theme Park, Cedar Fair, or any other, the top priority is for Guests to be safe.

Adventureland in Altoona, Iowa
Credit: Adventureland

Adventureland, located in Altoona, Iowa, is known for its many attractions and Resort amenities that draw thousands to its theme park each year. However, tragedy struck the theme park last year when 11-year-old Michael Jaramillo died on the Raging River ride.

Related: Federal Judge Approves Multi-Million Dollar Lawsuit Against Disneyland

The attraction had been closed for several months as Adventureland replaced the ride’s control board. On July 2, the ride passed a state inspection and it reopened to the public on July 3.

Raging River at Adventureland
Credit: ABC News (Adventureland Park)

However, as five members of the Jaramillo family boarded the ride on that day, tragedy struck. The raft capsized and they were left trapped in the water. Michael was pronounced dead by drowning in the early hours of July 4 and two more family members were transported to the hospital suffering injuries. His older brother David suffered critical injuries and his father was injured, as well.

Now, a year after the incident, the family has officially filed a lawsuit.

The lawsuit alleges that “no staff from the park came to help and the ride was allowed to continue to operate, with thousands of pounds of water continuing down the river despite the parents’ screams for help.”

Adventureland Resort
Credit: Adventureland

It also states that no staff member called 911 and, instead, emergency responders were called from theme park visitors who saw the accident unfold. The staff, according to the lawsuit, “only became aware that the Family’s raft had flipped from the 911 dispatcher, after bystanders called 911.”

The lawsuit includes four people by name and requests both monetary and punitive damages.

The new owners of the theme park, Palace Entertainment, have stated that they are not sure the attraction will ever reopen.

According to the Deis Moine Register, a later inspection would find that there were 17 safety violations, including using parts not approved by the manufacturer, using Flex Seal instead of patches to fix leaks in the rafts, and not testing the rafts following repairs.

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