In the wrongful death suit, lawyers for Christine Wuennenberg say Disney failed to follow its own monorail-safety procedures, leading directly to the July crash that killed 21-year-old Austin Wuennenberg.
The complaint seizes in large part on Disney’s policy of having monorail drivers continue driving their trains from the front cabin even when they must move the trains in reverse through track switches â€” rather than having drive from twin controls in the rear cab where they would have a clear view of the track as they back up.
The July 5, 2009, crash happened at about 2 a.m. during a botched attempt to transfer a train between tracks near the end of a work day. One of Disney’s monorail trains was backing up over a track switch that was supposed to move the vehicle from the resort’s Epcot line to a short spur leading to a Magic Kingdom line and on to the system’s maintenance bay.
The track switch was never realigned and the train wound up driving in reverse back down the Epcot line and into a second train piloted by Wuennenberg. The driver of the train that hit Wuennenberg’s vehicle remained in the front cab of his train during the track switch.
Wuennenberg’s lawyers say Disney’s policy of having drivers remain in the front cab during such track switches contradicted a training guide the resort created for monorail employees that called for drivers to switch cockpits.
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