Fatality at Petty Driving Experience

April 12, 2015, 5:17 PM

A 36-year-old Davenport man died today after a Lamborghini in which he was riding lost control at the Richard Petty Driving Experience at Walt Disney World.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the driver failed to maneuver the high-powered sports car through one of the course's curves, and the vehicle's right side struck a guardrail.

The passenger was pronounced dead at the scene, according to FHP's Sgt. Kim Montes.

Replies (9)

April 12, 2015, 5:17 PM

Orlando Sentinel


April 14, 2015, 10:35 AM

Bad bad news for Disney. This is heartbreaking for his family and friends but I suspect they'll get a sizable sum of money from the inevitable lawsuit, even if they settle.

April 14, 2015, 8:07 PM

I give TH major chops for bringing this to our attention. It's like all theme and amusement parks, this kind of bad press quickly gets rubbed under the carpet. I remember when a water ride last year or so at cedar point where a boat flipped over trapping some people secured in seat belts. Luckily some quick thinking park guests flipped it over with only minor injuries but hardly anyone hears about that.

Theme parks are great but there has to be some sort of safety protocol to prevent these types of things. The rides are essentially machines and with an untrained individual or someone who has not been trained enough is just waiting for disaster. This could have happened anywhere but the lack of coverage even on this site other than this article is disturbing too.

Like I said before I give total merit to TH for reporting this and I apologize for my banter about Disney.

Edited: April 15, 2015, 7:14 AM

Apple Butter-Petty driving experience is the real company here. Yes Disney benefits but it isn't really their attraction.

April 16, 2015, 5:58 AM

David - It happened at a race track called Walt Disney World Speedway in the Walt Disney World Resort. The Petty Driving Experience is responsible but so is Walt Disney World for letting them do this on their track and in their house.

Let's just say you have a party at your house and you serve alcohol and some teenager at the party drinks the alcohol and then drives and gets into an accident and dies. Are you responsible?

April 16, 2015, 10:41 AM

Your comparison is not entirely accurate and I don't think it is comparable at all. But, If someone else was throwing a party at my house and someone other than me served the teenager alcohol and an accident happened then you might be closer.

Even then, nobody did anything illegal at the racetrack like serve an underage person alcohol. It was something perfectly legal with dangers involved.

So if your situation happened like you said then yes I am liable. I gave a teenager alcohol and because of that he died. I would be in serious trouble. But if I allow a party on my land and someone certified to sell alcohol (remember these people are professional drivers at Petty driving and people pay for it) serves the teenager alcohol and dies, then no I don't believe I am responsible. I would definitely be involve but how would I be responsible?

Back to your main point. I don't think anyone should be in trouble. There was safety protocols in place. Accidents can and do happen.

Edited: April 16, 2015, 1:22 PM

I still don't know the details but I did hear that the car was going around the track the wrong way (at the time of the accident or previous to the accident, wasn't clear) and the person (passenger) killed was an employee (but of Petty or Disney wasn't clear). Rumors or truth, I'll wait to find out.

It seems there are a lot of details not being publicized.

April 17, 2015, 6:56 PM

Exotic Driving Experience at Walt Disney World Speedway on Disney property, but the track is owned and operated by Petty Holdings The gentleman who was killed was a employee of the driving experience. According to the Orlando Sentinel on April 15, "Many in the racing and driving community are questioning the decision to run the cars at the Exotic Driving Experience in an opposite direction than the one the track was originally designed for. NASCAR cars at the track run counterclockwise but the exotic ones go in a clockwise direction. The clockwise direction could have made the guardrail's position deadly, some in the racing/driving community say. Florida Highway Patrol says it is investigating the placement of the guardrail." The article goes on to specify the cause of death, "The instructor killed in a crash at the Exotic Driving Experience at the Walt Disney World Speedway died from blunt impact injuries to the torso with a lacerated aorta, the Orange/Osceola County Medical Examiner's Office said Wednesday." It is very sad. Gary Terry, the instructor was 36 years old, married with a one year old daughter.

May 7, 2015, 10:21 AM

Speed kills leave it to the professionals! Dumb*sses

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