05 July 2009

Monorail crash

According to a Local 6 article, there was a collision between Monorail Pink and Monorail Purple at approximately 2:00 am this morning along the Epcot line of the monorail system. The collision resulted in the death of one of the monorail drivers, Austin Wenneberg, age 21. While there were a total eight people invloved in the crash, including a family of six guests onboard one of the monorails at the time, no other injuries were reported. This is the first fatality in the thirty-eight year history of the Walt Disney World Monorail System.

Walt Disney World vice president of public affairs Mike Griffin issued this statement, "Today, we mourn the loss of a fellow cast member. Our hearts go out to the family and fellow cast members who lost a coworker and a friend. Safety of our guests and cast members is our top priority. The monorail is out of service and we will continue to work closely with law enforcement to determine what happened and the approximate next steps."

A statement from the Wenneberg family was issued late Sunday evening, it read, "Austin Wuennenberg was a senior at Stetson University, studying computer science. He always enjoyed his work at Disney, and especially enjoyed his work as a monorail pilot. He has many great friends whom he has positively influenced; everyone will truly miss this dynamic young man. Austin's family would like to thank friends and well-wishers for their kind thoughts and prayers. We appreciate sensitivity and respect from the media during this difficult time."

The Main Street Gazette would like to pass along our most sincere condolences to Wenneberg's family.

Article updated at 8:37 PM 5 July 2009.