Victim died of blood loss in Disneyland accident

Posted Wednesday, September 10, 2003 4:55 AM | Contributed by Jeff

The 22-year-old man killed Friday at Disneyland bled to death after suffering blunt force trauma of the chest, Orange County coroner's officials said Tuesday. Marcelo Torres of Gardena was in the front car of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad when the locomotive became separated from the rest of the cars and derailed. The coroner says the reaction time of paramedics was not likely a factor.

Read more from The LA Times and The Orlando Sentinel.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2003 5:19 AM
I sure wish they would better describe what happened so I could understand how "blunt force trauma of the chest" was the cause of death. Am I wrong, or did the train not roll back down the lift hill? If so, how does one have that type of injury??

My prayers again to this young mans family.......

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Wednesday, September 10, 2003 5:28 AM
I think there has been speculation that the decorative engine (really a car chassis with the engine overlay) may have separated and then struck the front of the first car. That force would have been enough to derail part of train. Whether the "engine" struck the victim directly or the force of the accident through him is some manner to cause the trauma remains to be seen.

All I know is I am trying very hard to not visualize what that must have been like for everyone in the train because it really gives me a sick feeling. It is sad to think that some people will never again have good feelings about Walt's park.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2003 5:30 AM
Unless I am mistaken...

It is not the role of the coroner to explain the mechanism of injury, but rather to determine the cause of death. The cause of death in this case was a cardiac arrest resulting from loss of blood caused by blunt force trauma. The cause of the blunt force trauma is, at this point, something for the engineers to figure out.

Until the engineers complete their investigation, we won't know exactly what happened.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2003 5:36 AM
Dave,

You mean that TV's depictions of coroners is incorrect? They don't go to accident sites and re-construct the scene of the accident while having "visions"?

Back to the serious topic though, like Skipper said, I too cannot imagine what it must have been like to be one of the other passengers on that ride. It must have been a horrific scene.

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--George H
*** This post was edited by redman822 9/10/2003 9:37:24 AM ***

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Wednesday, September 10, 2003 6:04 AM
Doesn't it seem that using the term "locomotive" is kind of strange? I'm sure when most people hear that word they think of the front car of a train that has some kind of huge engine in it.
And yes, Dave, I believe you are right. The coronor determines what caused the victim to die and the engineers/investigators find out what cuased that to happen.

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NICK

Tha whistles go woooooooooo!

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Wednesday, September 10, 2003 9:47 AM

Doesn't it seem that using the term "locomotive" is kind of strange? I'm sure when most people hear that word they think of the front car of a train that has some kind of huge engine in it.

I agree the term 'locomotive' is misleading. Use the term 'pilot car' instead. That describes any non-trailored lead car which may or may not contain passengers.

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Kevin Stone
NoLimits Roller Coaster Simulator
http://www.nolimitscoaster.de

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Wednesday, September 10, 2003 10:27 AM
I think that we should pay less atention to exactly what, how, where, an the extent of how he died. The point is the coaster derailed in someway and now a 22 year old is dead. It doesn't matter how or what killed him, he is dead. I think we should more focus on mourning and giving our support to his family than scritinizing what happened. Let the exterts do that. Its fine to be curious, but reading these posts, its almost like people are talking about it like it was just a test and they want the results. I may be coming down hard or what ever, I just an in awe by this and care more about the death of a human, i guess im just the type of person who cares about those things way to much.

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formally known as Flying DutchMan, Alpengiest is the best!

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Wednesday, September 10, 2003 10:49 AM
I am sensitive to your comments and they are understandable. But, we are not speculating that the victim had anything to do with it as has happened before.

This is a ride that many of us are familiar with. It is an unusual, freak accident that has everyone wondering. It comes from a park who for the most part has an excellent safety record. It is a ride, as we all know, that is fairly "tame" as a rollercoaster goes which makes it all the more perplexing.

I have mentioned in my posts here and on other forums that my first thoughts were for the victims, their families and the cast members that were involved. But, as is the case with all tragic accidents we want to know what happened, particularly those of us in the coaster community. I don't think that is harsh.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2003 12:53 PM
I was just reading everyone's reply's and I didn't once think that anyone was insensitive- to be more concerned about the rides malfunctions and causes of the accidents than the victum and the victum's family. But then again, that is just me. I don't think it was harsh either... again my personal opinion.

Personally, I agree with Wahoo skipper. I am a huge coaster fan and I would like to know what happened. I usually don't get freaked out when I read about accidents because I am familiar with the basics of how a ride operates and all but this is frightning to me. Usually I am like, "well, there's a reason why they have all those warning signs everywhere"- when it is a rider error, but this is different. It just happened. There was nothing those people could have done. I too have had horror pictures floating around in my mind of what it must have been like for the other passengers to see and experience this terrible tradegy. My deepest sympathies to them and their families.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2003 1:02 PM
IT sounds to me that the "engine" derailed and jammed the rest of the train...which would cause the sudden stop...and would make it seem the engine broke free (If the force of the train's decelleration caused the coupling to fail). Just my theory from the evidence. We'll all find out soon...hopefully.

My thoughts to the family of Mr. Torres.

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Fear the Wrath of the Orient Express!!
www.pkixtreme.tk

Congo Falls - 90 (one day)*** This post was edited by OrientExpressKid 9/10/2003 5:03:20 PM ***

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Wednesday, September 10, 2003 4:17 PM
The whole "engine" and "locomotive" thing is causing some confusion as I've heard some people (radio hosts mostly) confusing this ride with the actual railroad ride.

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Ripple Rock Amusement Park
Flying Scooter coming soon!

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Thursday, September 11, 2003 5:43 AM
Was it a "freak" accident, or the result of Disney's recent year's of budget cutting and lack of maintenance? If that is the case, hopefully criminal charges will be filed. It's a small coaster, if maintained correctly it should have been very safe.
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Thursday, September 11, 2003 3:29 PM
super7, I think if you look at recent roller coaster fatalities, you'll find that the smaller rides have a much worse safety record than the big ones do.

Your point about it being a very safe ride still stands, but it's got nothing to do with the size or 'intensity' of the ride.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Thursday, September 11, 2003 4:21 PM
That is the scary part. The thought of it being at "The most wonderful place on earth..." and being a smaller ride designed for less intensities... and this happened...I think we all know it can happen to any coaster- big,small, fast,slow-whatever- it's just that it was Thunder Mountain one that I know I grew up on and just always think that it would happen to a "bigger" coaster and not one like that...it's just kind of a reality check...I know I still will ride coasters as much as I have before, but I think it will take me a little bit to not be a little worried boarding Dueling Dragons or even The Flying Uni when I go to IOA this month inbetween classes.
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Saturday, September 13, 2003 6:51 AM
The victim died of blood loss...

I am guessing it was internal bleeding?

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Is that a Q-bot in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

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Saturday, September 13, 2003 6:56 AM
I can't figure out how to link to it, but there is an article on this on Netscape this morning. The article states that this was the 11th death at Disneyland due to ride related accidents since the park opened in 1955.


*** This post was edited by Jim Fisher 9/15/2003 8:32:08 AM ***

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Saturday, September 13, 2003 9:40 AM
Doesn't Disney have video cameras in all their dark rides to monitor the riders and their behaviour? I would think that there is a video camera recording in the tunnel on BTMRR where this accident occured. If so, I think Disney should bring forth the recorded tape to be examined.

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Nashville needs a theme park!*** This post was edited by thrillerman1 9/13/2003 1:41:44 PM ***

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Saturday, September 13, 2003 1:37 PM
Everything I've read so far says that there wasn't a camera in that section of the ride. If so, I bet that will change once the ride reopens.
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Monday, September 15, 2003 4:36 AM
Even if there was a camera, I wouldn't expect to see the video on the web. For reasons of integrity of the investibation and sensitivity for the relatives of the deceased, the tape would be used just by the investigators unless there was a suit from the media to release the tape.
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