Dr. Blackwell's BLOG

Monday, July 6, 2009

Horrific Accident on Disney’s Monorail

Filed under: Tragic News and Events — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 16:37

Austin Wuennenberg: Facebook profile picture

A horrific accident killed the operator of a monorail train at the Walt Disney World Resort around 2:00am Sunday in Orlando, Florida. Officers from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration are investigating what precisely occurred which resulted in the monorail train being piloted by Austin Wuennenberg (only 21 years of age and pictured above) plowing head-on into a train parked in the loading station at the Magic Kingdom. Some discussion has centered on the possibility of a faulty override system which is supposed to immediately stop trains as they get closer to each other on the track so they cannot possibly collide. Wuennenberg’s train was traveling from EPCOT and was in the process of switching tracks, which supposedly requires the operator to override the safety system. While the investigation is on-going, it appears Disney or the monorail’s safety mechanism are probably not at fault. Otherwise, the immediate re-opening of the Monorail System (which occurred Monday) would not have been permitted by regulators. Regardless of the cause of the accident, my thoughts and prayers go to this young man’s friends and family. This was a horrible tragedy, which as will probably be revealed, resulted from a mistake that ultimately took an innocent and young life. Below is a link to a video taken by a park guest shortly after the accident, showing just how horrific this event was. Warning, its content is quite disturbing.

Video of the Aftermath

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