16-year-old Samantha Aguilar was killed Friday when she was ejected from the Sizzler amusement ride. She was at the St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church carnival with her friends. Two other girls were on the ride with her at the time. One was also ejected, but survived, while the third was able to stay in the ride only because she locked her arms around the guard bar.
Texas state law requires that these types of rides be inspected on a regular basis. There are also criminal laws pertaining to operating the rides while intoxicated (there is no indication that the operator was intoxicated). But enforcement is another story. There are not specific agencies in charge of enforcing these laws, which often leads to gaps in inspections or no inspections at all. KFOX, a local TV station in El Paso, found that over the past five years, there have been almost 600 injuries reported from these types of rides.
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