Wrongful death lawsuit filed against Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park


DENVER — An attorney representing the family of Wongel Estifanos says a wrongful death lawsuit was filed Wednesday against the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park.

Six-year-old Wongel Estifanos was killed on Sept. 5 while riding the Haunted Mine Drop at the park. The family wants the full truth and full accountability from the amusement park.

“To lose a child this way to this kind of extreme recklessness and such a horrific form of death, it’s really beyond imagination, it’s completely crushing,” Attorney Dan Caplis said.

report released Sept. 24 detailed multiple errors by park operators. The investigation revealed that operators didn’t notice the little girl was sitting on her two seatbelts instead of being strapped into them before the Haunted Mine Drop ride took off.

“Before Wongel was killed, they knew and the operators knew that if she was not belted into that ride she would die, no uncertainty, no grey area, she would die yet they didn’t belt her and even after an alarm went off they came to her seat, the alarm said there was a problem with her restraints and they still didn’t look and see that she was unbelted,” Caplis added.

During the investigation, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment found that an alarm system warned of a problem on the ride, but the workers had not had enough training to know what to do. A worker then decided to reset the system and sent the ride on its way.

“The parents want this jury verdict to be largest enough to change behavior to send a message to this defendant and this entire industry that you cannot operate this way, we know from experience that large verdicts change bad behavior,” Caplis explained.

Attorney Dan Caplis does not believe a waiver signed by park guests before entering will infringe on the lawsuit, despite that waiver including language giving up rights to potential lawsuits.

FOX21 News reached out to Glenwood Caverns for a comment regarding the lawsuit but hasn’t heard back.

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