BUFFALO, N.Y (WKBW) The lawsuit against Darien Lake Amusement Park regarding the death of Army Sgt. James Hackemer of Gowanda has been settled in US Federal Court.
While terms of the mediated settlement are confidential, published reports say Hackemer's 4 and 5-year old daughters will receive a 7-figure amount of money.
"All of the proceeds from the settlement are going to go to the two girls," added Denis Bastible, attorney for the estate of James Hackemer.
Darien Lake Amusement Park issued a statement after the settlement saying "It was important to us to ensure his children were assured of a secure future."
The death of Sgt. Hackemer was very heartbreaking for this area because the 29-year old soldier had spent three years trying to recover from injuries he suffered while serving in Iraq.
In March 2008, a roadside bomb explosion left the Gowanda man with traumatic brain injuries and caused the loss of the two of his legs and part of his hip.
The injured soldier would return home to hero's welcome in October 2008.
Over the course of the next couple of years, intensive therapy helped James Hackemer learn how to eat, speak, and walk with prosthetic legs.
In July 2011, the double-amputee was at Darien Lake Amusement Park for a family outing.
While riding the 208-foot "Ride of Steel' roller coaster, he was ejected and fell to his death.
"The restraints couldn't hold him him because he didn't have the body mass or legs to hold him in," said Genesee County Sheriff Gary Maha, days after the accident.
Three months after the tragic death, a lawsuit was filed on behalf of Hackemer's estate.
"We allege their was inadequate training of the seasonal personnel who decided who gets on the rides there and that there was operator error," commented estate attorney Denis Bastible.
Hackemer's two daughters, Kaelynn and Addison, are now living with their mother in Virginia.
Under New York State law, because they are minors, they cannot have access to the settlement funds until they are at least 18-years old.