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Robert Niles

Boy from landmark Disneyland incident dies

Published: January 26, 2009 at 1:57 PM

The Orange County Register is reporting that Brandon Zucker, the boy who was severely injured on Disneyland's Roger Rabbit's Car-Toon Spin in 2000, has died.

Zucker, then 4, suffered brain damage when he flew out of the Toontown dark ride vehicle and was dragged and trapped underneath it. A state investigator later faulted design flaws on the theme park ride, and Disney settled a lawsuit with the family. Zucker was left unable to walk or talk after the incident.

Now 13, the boy was taken to the hospital on Sunday, where he died this morning. No cause has been announced.

The Zucker incident was one of several highly publicized injuries and fatalities at Disneyland Park under the Paul Pressler management team in the late 1990s and early 2000s, incidents that galvanized public opposition to Disney management at the time. That opposition ultimately contributed to the ouster of Disney chief Michael Eisner as well as the installation of a new management team at Disneyland and the other Disney theme parks.

Replies (3)

Anthony Murphy

Published: January 26, 2009 at 3:19 PM

Wow! What was the reasons for his death? This was quite a landmark case that Disney probably would like to forget!
Larry Zimmerman

Published: January 28, 2009 at 12:02 PM

Nobody wants to remember a little boy getting hurt at the happiest place on earth, and it's a sad thing that he passed at such a young age. I'm sure the theme park industry (including Disney) learned a lesson from this tragedy -- guest safety is Paramount (no pun intended) and having a great legacy is no immunization from the consequences of poor ride design. Still, it's a testament to the thousands of unrecognized park maintenance workers and ride operators that incidents like this are very rare. My condolences to the family and those who were close to the young lad.
Sylvain Comeau

Published: January 29, 2009 at 10:28 AM

Yet more proof, if any was needed, that budget cuts at theme parks are idiotic and can only hurt a company. Penny wise, pound foolish. I hope Pressler et al are proud of themselves...

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