A 44-year-old man, Jeffrey Reeb, died after being pulled unresponsive from a Walt Disney World roller coaster Tuesday. There are height requirements for rides such as this one, which was Animal Kingdom’s Expedition Everest. Inspectors found that the ride was functioning properly. Deaths like these call into question the safety of rides even when the rides are working as designed.
Prior to Tuesday’s death, at least 15 people had died at Disney’s theme parks in Florida and California since 1989, some with previous health conditions.
Mr. Reeb had a prior heart condition and it is questionable, according to various experts, whether any immediate medical condition and the use of a defibrillator would have made any difference in the outcome.
Incidents like this show the importance of using caution if you have any heart condition or ailment that puts you at risks when riding fast paced rides like the Everest Roller Coaster. The incident also shows the importance of having available defibrillators in place to give the visitor every chance possible to survive a heart attack or similar problem. You can read more about the incident and various approaches taken by Disney World to deal with these problems at the Orlando Sentinel – Disney World Death on Everest Ride Blamed on Tourist’s Heart Condition.