Brian Greenhouse identified as man who died in rollercoaster fall at Houston Rodeo

Channel 11 News is reporting that a man who died in a tragic fall from a rollercoaster at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo on Sunday evening has been identified as 47-year old Brian Joseph Greenhouse. Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo Chief Operating Officer Leroy Shafer confirmed Mr. Greenhouse died when he fell 28 feet from the Hi-Miler rollercoaster. CPR was attempted at the scene but sadly Mr. Greenhouse was pronounced dead at Memorial Hermann hospital. As Mr. Greenhouse fell he hit a 44-year old man who suffered a broken ankle.

The Hi-Miler rollercoaster involved had both a lap belt and a locking safety bar: it is not thought that either of these safety features malfunctioned because both were still in place after the accident. According to Shafer the Hi-Miler ride, owned by carnival operator RCS since 1980, does not have a history of any serious problems. There has been only one reported injury on the ride since 1980 when a rider’s head hit the safety bar and they suffered a broken nose and cheekbone.

In 2010 riders got stuck on the Hi-Miler when a crank shaft bent and automatically shut down the rollercoaster: riders were stuck for about 45 minutes. A Youtube video shows carnival workers climbing onto the ride, the video is dated 03-21-2010. Mr. Greenhouse’s fiance was also riding the coaster sitting two cars behind him when he fell: no witnesses have been identified who saw Mr. Greenhouse fall as the coaster made a turn. Houston Police Department’s homicide division has taken over the investigation into the cause of Brian Greenhouse’s death.

The Houston Chronicle’s story on Mr. Greenhouse’s death is here. The Chronicle reports that nobody was monitoring the Hi-Miler ride at the time Mr. Greenhouse fell, however industry standards require such rides be monitored from start to finish. Mr. Greenhouse was one of five children, lived in Houston and worked for AT&T. The Chronicle reports that the Hi-Miler rollercoaster is owned by Ray Cammack Shows, Inc. of Arizona, which as contracted to run the Houston Rodeo’s carnival for the past 12-years.

ABC Channel 13’s story is here. Channel 13 states that its reporters spoken to a woman who rode the Hi-Miler last week with her 6-year old son and the safety latch came undone. The woman is identified in the article as Myra Rock. Ms. Rock told Channel 13 that during the ride she had to hold down the bar and hold on to her son at the same time, and that she reported the defect to the operator when she got off the ride, and the operator said he would take care of the problem.

Mr. Greenhouse was described by a family member in one article as a hard-working, Christian man. Our sympathies go out to Mr. Greenhouse’s fiance and family members.

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