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Dad catches roller coaster's mid-ride seat belt malfunction on camera

By Ben Hooper

AMARILLO, Texas, April 26 (UPI) -- A father recording a roller coaster ride with his son at a Texas theme park captured the moment the ride's seat belt released partway through the ride.

Delbert Latham posted a video to Facebook showing his ride with his 6-year-old son, Kayson, on the Mouse Trap roller coaster at Wonderland Amusement Park in Amarillo.

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Latham said he was recording the video for his wife and the footage was shot during the pair's second trip on the Mouse Trap during a school-related event at the park Friday night.

The video appears to show Kayson slide out of his seat when the seat belt in their car of the coaster released partway through the ride.

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The father holds tight to his terrified son for the remainder of the ride to keep him from sliding.

"As we were going down, it threw him into the bottom of the cart and that's when you see me reach over to grab him and honestly when all of that started to happen, I didn't even realize I was video-ing it anymore," Latham told KFDA-TV.

Latham said he was shocked by the ride operator's response when the coaster came to a stop.

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"He stated to me that 'oh yeah, I'm sorry about that. That's been happening sometimes,'" Lathan told KVII-TV. "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 said he posted the video to Facebook so other visitors to theme park would be aware.

"I just posted it on my Facebook page hoping that if more awareness was out there, that maybe something else would get done. There's been people posting you should get a lawyer, that sort of thing. I'm not looking to sue them, I don't want money, that's not my intention. I just want it to be safe for people," he said.

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Wonderland Amusement Park responded to the incident in a statement:

"Wonderland Amusement Park has taken great strides over the past 65 years to ensure the safety of our visitors at all times, therefore we were extremely concerned to hear about the experience of Mr. Latham and his six-year-old son over the weekend. The seatbelt in the last car on the Mouse Trap roller coaster reportedly came loose creating a very scary situation for the family. Mr. Latham immediately informed the ride operator, found a member of management and reached out through a private social media message. We appreciate his diligence in quickly bringing this to our attention. Wonderland immediately reached back out to Mr. Latham the evening it happened and promptly removed the back cart from the ride and ensured all other seatbelts were in proper working order. The Mouse Trap was back in full operation on Saturday. This particular ride was originally built without seatbelts, but Wonderland later added belts as an extra safety measure. The Park's Safety and Maintenance Team is tasked with conducting daily inspections on every Park ride to ensure the safety of Park goers."

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