Thursday, February 12, 2004

Disneyworld Worker Killed

A worker at Walt Disney World in Florida was killed during a parade on Wednesday. Javier Cruz, 38, who was wearing a Pluto costume, was the father of two and had worked at the park since 1995.
Marin, his sister, said someone who worked with her brother told her that he tripped in front of the float and there wasn't enough time for him to move.

'It's not acceptable'

"We believe it could have been prevented. I believe they should have kept a distance between him as a character and the float," she said.

"OK, it's an accident, but it's not acceptable. They should have prevented this."
Employees later reported that
Cruz was facing forward when his foot got caught on the lower part of the float. When the vehicle began to move, his body was twisted around and he fell down. The third section of the vehicle ran him over and trapped him. Other Disney workers used a forklift and hydraulic lift to get the vehicle off Cruz, according to the report from the Orange County Sheriff's Office.

Norman Smith drove the vehicle by electric power from the first section of the float. Smith told investigators he couldn't see the other sections but relied on the guidance of another worker on foot to tell him when to move the vehicle. He also depended on radio contact with other parade marchers.
In 1999, an employee was killed at Disneyworld when he fell from the Magic Kingdom's Skyway ride. OSHA fined Disney $4,500.