Disney employee dies after being trapped under utility vehicle

Cast member dies in industrial accident

By Adrienne Cutway - Web Editor

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - A Walt Disney World cast member who died in an industrial accident Monday morning was run over by a motorized utility vehicle he was working on, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies said 33-year-old Juan Alberto Ojeda unconscious and unresponsive around 9:18 a.m. at 1153 Century Drive, near Pop Century Resort. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Witnesses said they were about 20 yards away and saw Ojeda was working on the battery for a Toro motorized utility vehicle then they heard a screeching sound and saw the vehicle drive up onto a curb and into a fence, according to a report. 

The cart climbed about six feet up the fence before it came back down on the ground and landed on top of Ojeda, deputies said. One witness said that it appeared that Ojeda's arm was caught on the steering wheel at one point during the incident.

Two witnesses rushed over to help Ojeda, who was trapped under the motorized vehicle. Deputies said Ojeda asked them to back the cart up off of him, but they worried they would cause further injury to him.

The cart was still running so the witnesses turned it off then tried to lift it off of Ojeda, but it was too heavy, the report said. Ojeda said he couldn't breathe then lost consciousness.

Walt Disney World President George A. Kalogridis called Ojeda's death a tragedy.

"All of us at Walt Disney World Resort are deeply saddened today by the loss of one of our cast members. Our thoughts and concerns are with his family, friends, and fellow co-workers. This is a tragic accident, and we are providing resources and care for those impacted and are working closely with the proper authorities to understand how this happened," Kalogridis said.

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