Thanks for the update Jiminy!
Teen went on ride many times
The British girl enjoyed Tower of Terror repeatedly before suffering cardiac arrest.
By Willoughby Mariano and Jerry W. Jackson
Sentinel Staff Writer
July 14, 2005
No one saw it coming. Over and over again, Leanne Deacon rode the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror thrill ride without a hitch. The British teen had visited Disney-MGM Studios six times in a week.
Before Leanne, 16, suffered cardiac arrest Tuesday -- minutes after exiting the popular attraction -- Leanne's only recent health complaints were headaches and leg cramps, according to details released in an Orange County sheriff's report Wednesday.
Leanne remained in critical condition at Florida Hospital Orlando on Wednesday, a day after doctors discovered blood on her brain and performed emergency surgery.
Meanwhile, Tower of Terror passed safety inspections, visitors resumed standing in the attraction's hourlong lines, and riders screamed their way up and down its steep climbs and drops. Disney said engineers and ride-system experts worked through early Wednesday morning to complete an inspection monitored by the Florida Department of Agriculture Bureau of Fair Rides Inspection.
While the sheriff's report notes that Leanne's car had a technical problem, investigators found the ride operated properly. State and Disney officials agree.
The attraction simulates five minutes in a hotel elevator gone amok. Giant 21-passenger cars shoot to the top of the tower -- Walt Disney World's second-tallest point -- and plunge and jerk down to earth.
Tuesday's incident took place less than a month after a Pennsylvania boy, Daudi Bamuwamye, 4, collapsed on Epcot's Mission: Space ride June 13 and later died. Inspections showed no signs of ride malfunction, and officials await a medical examiner's report on the cause of death.
Moments before falling ill, Leanne smiled, as revealed in a souvenir snapshot taken by a Tower of Terror camera and released by the Sheriff's Office. At 9:49 a.m. Tuesday, as the ride took its final plunge, Leanne's eyes closed and her mouth grinned wide.
Leanne exited at 9:50 a.m., shaking and lightheaded. She drifted in and out of consciousness and her arm fell limp, the report states.
By the time she arrived in an ambulance at Florida Hospital Celebration Health, her heart had stopped beating. Emergency workers had to revive her, Orange County sheriff's spokesman Jim Solomons said.
A CT scan showed the teen had bleeding in her brain and required emergency surgery, the report states. She was later transferred to the Orlando hospital.
Leanne's sudden illness shocked her mother, June Deacon, 54, who rode Tower of Terror with her daughter Tuesday morning, according to the sheriff's report.
Leanne Deacon "is very active, athletic, jogs regularly, and is in great health," June Deacon told investigators. The girl "had been complaining of headaches and leg cramps for several days," the report states.
Leanne's family declined requests for an interview through Florida Hospital spokeswoman Samantha O'Lenick. The spokeswoman said she was not authorized to release further information about the teen's health.
No one was in the Tower of Terror car when a computer recorded a technical glitch. The glitch concerned the speed of the car while it moves horizontally, not as it travels through the vertical shaft, Disney spokeswoman Kim Prunty said.
The readings were "totally irrelevant" to the incident, Prunty said. A Disney maintenance employee told investigators in a sworn statement that the glitch was "in no way a safety concern or could in no way cause injury," according to the sheriff's report.
Disney invited the state inspectors to check out the ride, even though the park is not required to do so by Florida law, agency spokesman Terry McElroy said.
Isadore "Izzy" Rommes, chief of the Tallahassee-based inspection agency, and his top investigator, Allan Harrison, worked alongside Disney engineers from Tuesday until nearly 4 a.m. Wednesday.
"We observed their testing of the equipment, backwards and forwards, numerous times," McElroy said.
State inspectors have examined the ride in the past, McElroy said. Reports show Tower of Terror has fewer reported incidents requiring hospital checkups than Mission: Space.
Ken Martin, an independent ride-safety consultant in Virginia, said he thinks the latest incident at Disney reinforces the need for national "standards of operation" that apply to all parks large and small, and the need for outside investigations.
"There are just too many little things happening" with thrill rides nationwide, Martin said.
Tower of Terror is among the most popular rides at Disney-MGM Studios. By 10 a.m. Wednesday, the wait time was the park's longest. Most visitors to Tower of Terror hadn't heard about the British teen's sudden trip to the hospital.
Derenda Davila, a chaperone for a Lubbock, Texas, church group, said the news didn't worry her.
"It's awesome. I would ride it again," Davila said of the ride.
"It's not too scary," said Nick Watts, another chaperone.
Willoughby Mariano can be reached
or 407-420-5171. Jerry W. Jackson
can be reached at 407-420-5721
Copyright © 2005, Orlando Sentinel | Get home delivery - up to 50% off
Lord High Keeper of the Knowledge of Right and Wrong, Counselor in Moments of Temptation, and Guide along the Straight and Narrow Path and Oldest Active DWT/WDW Radio Member
DL: 1955* (1); WDW: 1977* (2), 1980* (2), 1985* (3), 1989* (3), 1996 (ASMu-3), 1999 (ASMo-3), 2000 (ASMu-2/PO-2), 2001 (ASMu-5), 2002 (ASMu-5), 2003 (ASMo-5), 2004* (8), 2004 (ASMo-8), 2005 (PC-10), 2006* (15), 2007* (20), 2008* (22), 2009* (26), 2010* (27), 2011* (32), 2012* (39), 2013* (36), 2013* (15), 2013* (9), 2013* (13) Total Trips/Days = 25/316
Thanks for the update Jiminy!
Yes thank you for keeping us updated
Hello all!! This is the latest article regarding the TOT accident. It was published on Sunday in a British newspaper. Apparently according to this article the girl is still in critical condition. Hope she continues to get better!!
July 17, 2005
The Sunday Times
Briton critical after Disney thrill ride
As 16-year-old Briton, Leanne Deacon, remains in a critical condition in an Orlando hospital, Disney World reopened the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror ride on which she fell ill.
In an effort to quell anxiety after the second serious incident in a month, Disney invited the State Bureau of Fair Rides and Exhibitions to oversee inspection of the attraction, which simulates a plummeting lift by dropping 13 storeys at high speed.
Leanne, from Kibworth, Leicestershire, lost consciousness after leaving the ride and was admitted to hospital suffering from a brain haemorrhage.
Peter Cornall of RoSPA, said that white-knuckle rides were safe, but testing was more important than ever. “As rides get faster and higher the consequences if something goes wrong are much worse.” Dr Steve Kidman, of the US Navy, agreed. “Fighter pilots go through years of training to cope with similar forces. As rides get faster, I would expect incidents such as this to increase, especially among children and the elderly.” Last month, four-year-old Daudi Bamuwamye died after riding the Mission: Space ride at Epcot. The coroner has yet to declare a cause of death.
Thanks for the update gator, let's hope her condition improves!
I am in need of some Disney magic!!
okay, the people who go on all these thrill rides should READ THE WARNINGS before they get on the ride!
disney gets a bad rep for having all these deaths- where they didnt do anything!
i mean, my grandpa has heart problems, and do see him on tower of terror, space mountain, test track, etc? no!
It's unfortunate that were all mortal. Disney has the numbers against them, they get SO many people on their rides.. odds are they are going to have a few deaths on their rides. I think the rides are built extremely safe, I also think that WDW rides are designed a million times better than the human body. (Imagineers are clearly the superior designers, they put the gods to shame )
When I get real old, and I have hear problems, back problems, brain problems.. I hope I bite the dust on a Disney ride, what a way to go.
My father and I always wanted to go to Disney together, we finally made it there together when he had only a few days left to live. He ended up dying a week after we got home. His body was so racked with pain from cancer that even small world hurt him. When going on Big Thunder Mountain or Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, we said, "Dad this could kill you." "It'd be a fun way to go.." he'd reply. Of course the rides caused him a lot of pain, but he endured and enjoyed the rides anyways.
This little note isn't meant to belittle the suffering the relatives of the decease go through, loosing a family member is a tragedy and I hope they have the strength to move on.
Ideally I'd like to gentle into oblivion at the end of the Haunted Mansion ride and become one of those restless spirits that interrupt the flow of the ride. lol.
I went to Epcot before my father passed.. not as soon though.. sorry to hear he left right after bro. Mine was a fighter too in the same aspect. As in when we rode Test Track, he almost used all of his might to keep his butt out of the chair because of pelvic cancer, and yet.. it was the first time him and I ever got to experience that ride, and had a blast.. if I knew then what I know now, I would've recomended Imagination or some sight seeing.. I can only imagine such pain.
Sounds like our Dad's were a lot alike, and the sightseeing wouldn't be able to contain them. He said the most difficult thing about the cancer was having me wheel him around epcot and the magic kingdom in a wheel chair.Originally Posted by Tampa
yup same thing, he was happy that him my brother and I were together again, and yet, he couldn't see us most of the time cause we were behind him pushing.. it seems like it was only yesterday that I watched the parades upon his shoulders.
As I said on the other thread, Disney doesn't get any more a bad rap than the other theme parks when an accident occurs. My cousin works at Universal, and they have the exact same thing happen when an accident occurs on a ride, their fault or not. Sea World has had horrible bad publicity for animals defending themselves when morons do dumb things like jump in tanks when they are on drugs. People STILL ask me about that, and it happened over SIX years ago.Originally Posted by ksa1314
I was raised in Newport Rhode Island, and my family didnt have much money.. we were downright poor. My three trips in my youth to WDW, not a single one my Dad went to, he was working to afford the trips.. I always missed him there. I'm sad our first time was also our last.. but at least we had one.Originally Posted by Tampa
for real..Originally Posted by Ultimatewdwfan
and Rhode Island eh... I was born in Delaware.. i think I'm the only one in that states birth records hehe.
I do hope the woman who was injured pulls through ok. It's sad when an unfortunate accident happens.
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