Man was operating cherry picker before fatal industrial accident at Epcot

Witnesses say they saw victim 'flying through the air'

By Adrienne Cutway - Web Editor

ORLANDO, Fla. - A man who died in an industrial accident at Epcot earlier this month was not wearing safety equipment while operating a cherry picker before his death, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies released a report Tuesday saying George Walter Dewayne Grimes, 58, of Winter Garden, was found lying on the ground with a pool of blood by his head in an area behind the Morocco pavilion March 12.

A custodial cast member said she saw Grimes standing up in the basket of a cherry picker in an attempt to load it onto the back of a tow truck but he appeared to be getting frustrated with the process. She saw Grimes get down from the cherry picker and into the driver's seat of the truck, then back into the cherry picker before she left the area to continue her work.

She made eye contact with Grimes and noted that he wasn't wearing any safety equipment except for glasses.

Other witnesses said they saw Grimes "flying through the air" before he fell on the ground, although the report does not say if he was on the cherry picker before the fall.

Grimes worked for SunBelt Rentals, a company hired to perform work in the backstage area.

"We are deeply saddened to learn of (the) loss of one of our team members in a tragic accident," a spokesperson for Sunbelt Rentals said at the time of Grimes' death. "We are working closely with the local authorities."

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