Passenger thrown from tram at Orlando International Airport dies
Officials say man was propelled through windshield
ORLANDO, Fla. – A passenger propelled through a tram windshield during a freak accident at Orlando International Airport died, according to airport spokeswoman Carolyn Fennell.
Friends have identified the victim as Adam Thomas Lee. He was taken to Florida Hospital East, where he died.
The airport confirmed to Local 6 that four people were on the tram, including two Bombardier employees and two friends of one of the employees that were invited on.
The two friends were heading out to a flight and were riding the tram unauthorized during a safety check just before 5:45 a.m. Friday.
Friends said Lee died during the accident. The executive director for the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, Phillip Brown, said one of the friends was allowed to operate the vehicle that was in maintenance mode, which would cause the tram to automatically brake if not controlled. Local 6 has learned the tram was going 5 mph at the time of the incident.
The emergency brake caused the tram to suddenly stop, sending the man through the plexiglass windshield and about 15 feet to the ground.
Bombardier, the company that operates and maintains the train, is investigating.
Friends described Lee being a hard worker with a generous spirit. They told Local 6 he grew up in Brevard County and attended Satellite High School. He was videographer and in a social media page described himself as having a passion for exploring.
The employee that allowed the passenger to operate the vehicle has had his security badge returned to the authority.
The tram involved was taken out of service. It has had it's glass replaced, it was determined that the tram has no safety issues and is now back in service. All trams are moving as normal.
Airport officials said the trams were first introduced at OIA 35 years ago and were overhauled in the 1990s. There have not been any other similar issues at the airport, officials said.
Overall, there are eight trams with three cars each at OIA and they carry about 100,000 passengers per day, officials said. The average round trip is three minutes.
The accident has not caused any travel delays for airline passengers.
The investigation continues.
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