Family of Marion Boy Killed at Adventureland Has Filed a Lawsuit
Nearly a year after a tragic accident killed an 11-year-old at Adventureland in Altoona, the boy's family has filed a 55-page lawsuit.
Michael Jaramillo of Marion, Iowa was killed on July 3, 2021, when the raft he and his family were in overturned on the Raging River ride at Adventureland, a central Iowa theme park. His older brother David suffered critical injuries, while Michael's father, also named David, was injured as well. The ride had reopened that day after being closed for over a year.
This morning, Jaramillo's family filed a lawsuit in the case. According to KCRG, it alleges "no staff from the park came to help and the ride was allowed to continue to operate, with thousands of pounds of water continuing down the river despite the parents' screams for help."
The Des Moines Register reports the lawsuit says no park employees ever called 911 following the accident. It says that when emergency crews responded to the scene due to 911 calls from park visitors, they were unable to reach the scene due to a locked gate. The lawsuit also alleges that police and firefighters from Altoona, that were working in the park at the time of the incident, "only became aware that the Family's raft had flipped from the 911 dispatcher, after bystanders called 911," according to the lawsuit.
The Jaramillo lawsuit says witnesses will testify that both Michael and his brother, David, were trapped in the overturned raft for between seven and ten minutes before being pulled from the water by a passenger in another raft, and Adventureland workers who had been setting up a fireworks display.
Among a lengthy list of allegations in the lawsuit, the Des Moines Register also says it claims three people working the Raging River on July 3, 2021, had only been trained on that day and had never worked on it previously.
Specifically named in the lawsuit are (titles are those held at Adventureland at the time of the incident):
- Michael Krantz, President and CEO
- Tim Heger, General Manager
- Todd Kurovski, Director of Rides and Management
- Zach Peiper, Manager
The lawsuit requests monetary (amount unspecified) and punitive damages. It does not involve the new owners of Adventureland, Palace Entertainment. They bought the theme park near the end of 2021.
The Raging River remains closed at Adventureland. Palace Entertainment has not made a decision on whether they'll ever reopen the ride.