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Disney report explains death
A 73-year-old man with a heart condition died 3 days after riding Space Mountain in December.


Scott Powers | Sentinel Staff Writer
Posted January 30, 2007

A man who died three days after losing consciousness on Space Mountain at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom in December succumbed to natural causes, according to the Medical Examiner's Office.

The incident was among six serious injuries or illnesses outlined by Walt Disney World in quarterly reports filed recently with the state Bureau of Fair Rides Inspection for the fourth quarter of 2006.

The report stated that a 73-year-old man was "unresponsive" after riding Space Mountain on the afternoon of Dec. 12, and died three days later "due to a heart condition." The report did not identify him.

Steve Hanson, chief investigator with the Medical Examiner's Office for Orange and Osceola counties, said Monday he was aware of the death but that it was not referred to that office because it was clearly due to natural causes.

Disney spokesman Jacob DiPietre said the company extended deep sympathy to the family and offered all possible assistance.

Universal Orlando, SeaWorld Orlando, Wet 'n Wild and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay reported no serious injuries or illnesses on rides in their fourth-quarter filings.

The other incidents reported by Disney involved a broken foot at Mayday Falls, a broken pelvis at Test Track, a seizure at Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, and two people who reported prolonged illness, one after riding Mission: Space and the other after Rock 'n' Roller Coaster.

In a previous matter involving Mission: Space, Walt Disney World and the family of a 4-year-old boy who died in June 2005 settled a lawsuit the family had filed alleging wrongful death.

Circuit Judge George Sprinkel of Orange County approved the settlement on Jan. 11. No details were disclosed, except that each side would pay its own legal and court fees. Disney spokesman DiPietre and Robert Samartin of Tampa, an attorney representing the family of Daudi Bamuwamye would not comment.