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Boy Dies When Restraining Bar In Roller Coaster Gives Way

April 20, 1987 GMT

AMARILLO, Texas (AP) _ A teen-ager whose mother reluctantly allowed him to ride a roller coaster one more time died when a restraining bar gave way, hurling him about 10 feet in the air, authorities said.

An autopsy was ordered on the body of 15-year-old Miguel Perez, who died Sunday at the Wonderland Park.

″He asked me, ’Mama, can I ride the coaster one more time? Just one more?‴ Angie Perez, the boy’s mother, said through tears after the accident.

Ms. Perez said she agreed to her son’s request and that she and her younger son, Marcelo, watched Miguel board the last car of the Zyklon, also known as the Big Coaster.

Marcelo Perez said that as the ride was coming to an end, he saw the bar that restrained his brother fly up and Miguel fall.

Amarillo Medical Services were called, but a spokesman said there was nothing its emergency workers could do for the boy.

Wonderland operator Paul Borchardt said the restraining bar is put in place automatically as the participant enters the ride.

In a press release late Sunday night, Borchardt said the ″park has been in operation for 36 years and the accident on the Zyklon coaster is the first fatality we have had.″

The Zyklon, a multi-car train that rides along red tracks, is one of three roller coaster-type rides at the park.

Amarillo police said the accident was under investigation.