Wrongful death lawsuit against Disney in fatal monorail crash dismissed

The wrongful death lawsuit filed against Walt Disney World by the mother of the monorail pilot who was killed in a July 2009 crash at the resort has been voluntarily dismissed.

Austin Wuennenberg, 21, of Kissimmee, died of multiple traumatic injuries in the July 5, 2009 incident. In a 911 call, a witness described the crash as "a head-on collision" between two trains. The accident occurred as the park resort was closing and one train was being transferred off the rail line. His mother has filed a lawsuit against Disney.

According to court records the lawsuit was voluntarily dismissed. The court records have been sealed.

NTSB releases Disney monorail accidents documents

In December 2009, the U.S. Department of Labors Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) fined Walt Disney World $44,000.

In Novmber 2010 the National Transportation Safety Board  released investigation documents from the accident.

 

Review the investigation documents here>>>

The thousands of pages released by the NTSB include transcripts of interviews done with witnesses and Disney employees but the most telling seems to be from the driver of the pink train that collided with the purple train.

Alan Rubino told investigators he was only going about 13 mph as he was backing up when he said, "I felt the boom, and I just, I didn't know what happened at first. All the gauges, all the malfunctions are beeping. Everything is going off. No radio contact. No nothing."

He said he got out of his monorail because he thought the door fell off but he realized something much worse had happened. Rubino told investigators he hated backing up and that he always felt like he was flying blind. When the central control finally got back to him on the radio they asked him where he was. He was confused. He couldn't figure out how they couldn't see him.

He told the man on the radio, "I believe I've had an accident," and told investigators he heard from the other end, "Okay."

The NTSB says the cause of the crash is still under investigation.

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