IRVING (CBSDFW.COM) – “I never thought it would happened to us,” said a relieved Thalia Rodriguez. She and her fiancé, Will Mancera, plan to wed this February. But Monday night, they got a little preview of the bumpy ride called marriage.
“We had a mixture of emotions. We actually got into a fight. We laughed, she cried, I was consoling her,” Mancera said with a smile. “You name it, it was a combination of everything within three hours.”
It was supposed to be a belated birthday gift for Rodriguez. The Texas Blastoff Ride at the Zero Gravity Amusement Park in northwest Dallas launched without a hitch. But as the ride settled, witnesses say the bungee cords became tangled; leaving the couple suspended 80 feet in the air for three hours. “I never expected to be on that thing for three hours,” said the 23-year-old Rodriguez.
The Irving couple were annoyed at first, but their emotions soon escalated, especially for Mancera, who is not a fan of heights. “It really hit me when I saw a couple that walked in as soon as we shot up,” recalled the 26-year-old D.J. “They were sitting there watching us go up and down and then I saw a gentlemen escort them out. At that point, I knew I was in trouble.”
Rodriguez said she “totally freaked out” and was frustrated with being stuck in the heat. “It was very uncomfortable,” she said.
Dallas firefighters needed a ladder and a bucket to rescue the two. When the couple finally reached the ground, they vowed never again to ride Texas Blastoff and promised that their next ride would be down the aisle.
“When we were sitting up there, there were plenty of times when I said, is this really happening to us?” recalled Rodriguez. “Things like this always happen to us,” she then added while laughing.
Nick Bocksell, the manager for Zero Gravity, is defending the park’s safety record. According to the Texas Department of Insurance, the amusement park remains in compliance with the state and there have been no reports of ride-related injuries for the past five years.