ALTOONA, IOWA — The Raging River at Adventureland theme park passed a safety inspection just days before a deadly accident that claimed the life on an 11-year-old boy. The park’s attorney says investigators are focused on how the boat flipped over. The rafts weigh more than 1,500 pounds and float in water that is just knee deep in areas. The ride has been in operation for 40 years.
“Tens of thousands of boats have been launched on this ride,” says Guy Cook, an attorney representing Adventureland, “Never ever has a boat tipped over or capsized in this 40 years. So that tells us number one, the ride is safe number two something different had to had happen on this day.”
Cook says determining what that “something different” waas about the Jaramillo family rafting ride is what everyone wants to know. “It’s too early to tell it would be premature to draw any conclusions until the investigation is complete, but those who have ridden the ride and those who have seen pictures of the ride can see that persons are individually seated and if a person remains in their seat and the weight is evenly distributed on … a raft. These are small boats. They weigh in access of 1,500 pounds. It is very difficult to see how a raft can tip over,” says Cook.
Cook says the family that owns Adventureland has reached out to offer its support to the Jaramillo family.