Disney worker killed in the deadly I-4 Pile Up

January 10, 2008, 5:29 PM · The Orlando Sentinel covered this story.

Disney lost one of it's own to the deadly pile up on I-4, the main highway connecting Orlando and Tampa. Many of you might know I-4 because it is the highway you take to get to Orlando's popular attractions including Universal Orlando Resort, Sea World Orlando, Walt Disney World, as well as Busch Gardens Africa in Tampa.

In all the pile up left 4 dead, and 38 injured. One of the victims was Darren Scott Snyder, a maintenance worker at World Disney World, who was on his way to work. Snyder worked with engineering services on the maintenance team at Disney's Animal Kingdom and was supposed to report to work at 6 a.m., but he never showed up.

FHP says that 150,000 commuters use I-4 between Orlando and Tampa each morning, 75,000 each way.

What would have happened if this crash would have occurred any later and it was not the second week of January but a busy week after Christmas when many tourists are here in Central Florida? How many tourists commuting from either Tampa to Orlando to visit Orlando Area Theme Parks, or Orlando to Tampa to visit Tampa Area Theme Parks might have been involved?

This morning again there was a problem of fog limiting the visibility to a quarter of a mile in many spots in Central Florida. If you are coming to the Central Florida Theme Parks during the early part of the year, which is Central Florida's fog season, make sure that you watch the weather forecasts for expected morning weather conditions. If you do happen to get caught up in the fog while on your vacation, adjust your speed, and if needed pull over to the side of the road.

Replies (6)

January 10, 2008 at 6:23 PM · This is horrific. I just traveled that highway last week, in fact on Wednesday, January 2nd. We went from Orlando to Tampa to Busch Gardens. I know exactly where the accident took place. It sends chills down my spine. My thoughts and prayers to the victims and their families. How sad.
January 10, 2008 at 6:46 PM · There was another Disney worker death in a traffic accident within the last week. Heather Hurd, one of Diversity team members was killed and her fiancee was injured. He is one of the Safari drivers at Animal Kingdom. They were hit by a tractor trailer whose driver was distracted, and ran a red light.
It's a sad week for the Disney cast.
Heather's family has crated the Heather Hurd fund to assist a deserving Disney intern each year.
January 10, 2008 at 9:51 PM · It's always so upsetting to hear of these types of incidents. I'll be there in Orlando to visit Universal at the end of this month. I'll make sure I drive very carefully.
January 11, 2008 at 6:51 AM · There was more to the problem than just fog. The day before, a "controlled burn" got out of control and became a wildfire. The smoke from this fire mixed with the fog to hamper visability.

There is criticism of the state's decision to do the burn while conditions are so dry.

January 11, 2008 at 2:52 PM · I live nearly 10 miles away from that whole accident scene. It was real foggy in the area that morning. However the controlled burn made it worse. And anyone who drives in that part of I-4 knows the fog can get real bad in that area.
January 12, 2008 at 5:04 AM · I-4 is notorious for frequent accidents that tie up one side or the other (sometimes both!) for hours at a time. Although the late '90's/early 2000's upgrades have helped, the deadly combination of reckless speeding, mixed vehicle types, limited visibility and distracted drivers continues to result in needless deaths and injuries. If you absolutely, positively need to get to Orlando from Tampa (or the reverse), seriously consider US 92, State Route 60, or one of the other alternatives to driving on I-4. Accidents are too frequent and random to make it a reliable route between Tampa and Orlando.

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