Caught on cam: Boy's terrifying roller coaster mishap goes viral

Father captures terrifying roller coaster ride (Delbert Latham - Used with permission)

Delbert Latham is skeptical his son will ever get on a roller coaster again. This comes after he and his 6-year-old rode the Mousetrap at Wonderland Amusement Parkfor the second time Friday night.

"We ended up being in the exact same seat again," Latham said. "We put the seat belt on, latched it, went to pull it tight and it had actually come undone at that time. I just thought I didn't get it clicked in well enough. I re-clicked it and tightened it up. It was fine. There were no problems with it."

Latham says his son, Kaysen, had so much fun the first time, he wanted to video the joy for his wife to see. What he caught on camera wasn't what he was expecting.

"We went to hit the very first drop, and as soon as we went over, I felt the seat belt release," Latham said. "I guess the motion of it going down threw [Kaysen] to the bottom of the cart. That's when I reached over to grab him. Honestly, from that part forward, I didn't even realize that I was still video taping it. I was just trying to make sure that he held on and that he didn't start panicking or start trying to move or anything, because I knew that there was another drop coming up."

He held his son for the rest of the ride assuring him he would be safe. He then notified the ride operator of the incident.

"He stated to me that 'oh yeah, I'm sorry about that. That's been happening sometimes,'" Lathan said. "That made me more angry obviously. I told him that's not acceptable to know that something is messing up and still let people on a ride."

Latham says he asked for a supervisor and later the owner of the park when people were, again, let back on the ride.

"They didn't put anybody in the seat that we were sitting in, but they still loaded the rests of the seats up and let the ride take off again," Latham said. "In my opinion, if someone tells you the seat belt is broken, you should go ahead and just shut that part down and not let anyone on that ride."

In a statement, Wonderland says it was extremely concerned to hear about the Latham's experience and appreciate the father quickly bringing it to the park's attention. The park says it reached back out to Mr. Latham that evening, removed the cart and ensured all seat belts were in proper working order.

"They did respond to me and told me they send their deepest condolences and that safety is their number one issue," Latham said. "They offered me a couple of WOW passes if I wanted to come back, but we won't be going back."

According to the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI), amusement parks are required by law to have insurance policies on each ride and an annual safety inspection conducted by a contractor hired by the insurance company. Wonderland says its safety and maintenance teams conduct daily inspections on every ride.

"When an insurance company provides to us proof of the policy and the annual inspection, we issue a sticker," TDI spokesperson Jerry Hagins said. "That sticker should be displayed prominently on each ride."

Attorney Dean Boyd says regulations for amusement parks are minimal.

"What controls a place like Wonderland Park? The Seventh Amendment, your right by trial by jury," Boyd said "That means twelve local citizens going to be on a jury, deciding what is right in that situation."

No matter the regulations or laws governing parks, Latham says he just wants the rides fixed, and he's glad he was there for his son.

"What if an adult wasn't with him? That's not something I want to think about," Latham said. "Obviously, it's something that crosses your mind. All I can say is I'm thankful that I was the person that was there, and we don't have to cross that bridge."

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off