Disney Settles With Family Whose 9-year old Boy Died in Accident with Disney Bus

Disney Bus at WDW

The family of the 9-year old boy who died after riding his bike off the sidewalk and into the side of a Disney transport bus near Fort Wilderness has reached a settlement with Disney that will keep this case out of the courts. Disney’s spokesperson would not reveal the details of the settlement.

The child was riding his bike unsupervised along a sidewalk when he swerved into the road and hit the side of a passing Disney bus. He was knocked down and then run over by the rear wheels of the bus. The driver of the bus, a cast member with 30 years of experience at the resort, was not cited by the Highway Patrol. However, the family claimed that Disney maintained an unsafe environment with buses passing so close to a sidewalk used by bicyclists in the Fort Wilderness area.

This accident came in the middle of a string of Walt Disney World Transportation related incidents causing many in the community, this blog included, to question whether Disney was adequately training the staff and maintaining its equipment. It’s now been many months without any serious incidents making the news. Either Disney has stepped up their game or the previous run was a statistical fluke. Either way, that’s a good result for Disney and it’s guests.

How safe do you feel when using Walt Disney World transportation?

(via the OS)

Photo courtesy Wikipedia CC License.

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13 Responses to Disney Settles With Family Whose 9-year old Boy Died in Accident with Disney Bus

  1. Chrissy says:

    How many accidents has Disney had relevant to the number of guests they transport? Their stats have to be pretty amazing. While this tragedy is heartbreaking beyond words, and anytime there is a loss of life the pain the family must be experiencing is incomprehensible, but it was an accident. People make mistakes sometimes. It is not possible to create an environment that is 100% safe all of the time. Again, this is so tragic, but it was an accident. I think Disney does an amazing job with safety, they have top notch bus drivers, monorail drivers, etc. who are very safety concerned. I always feel completely safe.

  2. SherryMD says:

    Questionable parenting! Just because it’s Disney World doesn’t mean there isn’t people wandering around in it who’d walk out of the park with someone else’s kid to do with as they please. The kid could have rode into a bus parked at a sidewalk with the engine going and just about to depart, fallen under, and suddenly the bus moves and crushes him. It’d happen so fast no one could do anything to save him. Anyway, my heart does out to the family even though they aren’t the sharpest crayon in the box.

  3. Jimmy rucker says:

    Very safe but more busses monorails needed to long of lines waiting in lines for long periods is it onstage with. Parents tired and ruling. Need more busses faster times too

  4. RB Smith says:

    Pretty sad when parents can sue Disney when they should have been watching their own child.

    “The family of the 9-year old boy who died after riding his bike off the sidewalk and into the side of a Disney transport bus near Fort Wilderness” has reached a settlement with Disney that will keep this case out of the courts. Disney’s spokesperson would not reveal the details of the settlement.

    “The child was riding his bike unsupervised along a sidewalk when he swerved into the road and hit the side of a passing Disney bus”.

  5. 1967WEDway says:

    This is why Disney should expand the monorail.

  6. Bonita says:

    I feel for the family for their loss, but Disney should never have had to pay a cent for this ACCIDENT. They were not the cause of the boy riding into the bus side. Where were the parents? People need to take more responsiblity for their actions and quit blaming others.

  7. Chuck Schick says:

    While a horrible situation, I’m unclear as to why the family deserves a payoff? If I were in the bus, I would sue the family for allowing their 9 year old child to run into the bus and thus creating mental anguish for all the travelers. Lawyer Up..,it’s the American Way.

  8. GAPTurtle says:

    I suspect that its more a case of Disney paying a smaller amount to settle rather than incurring the larger costs of defending a court case. Its cheaper for Disney and will probably generate less headlines. Its a bit of a no win situation for the company. It was an accident and the fault, if any,.lies with the child or their responsible adult.

    • John Frost says:

      In the past Disney has been famous for their desire to see a case go to court rather than settle for an amount that would be less than court costs. The reason being they didn’t want to open the flood gates for injury related lawsuits (I slipped on a banana peel at the food court and Disney owes me 3 million, etc).

  9. RB Smith says:

    The person who wrote this should be ashamed of himself for implying Disney World and the bus driver should accept any blame here when it was clearly the fault of the child and parents-he ran into the side of the bus after leaving the sidewalk! He was riding his bike without any one watching him. to make sure he was riding safely and where he should be. It makes me sick that the parents would turn around and sue but that is the world we live in these days-always try to get money out of every situation.

    “This accident came in the middle of a string of Walt Disney World Transportation related incidents causing many in the community, this blog included, to question whether Disney was adequately training the staff and maintaining its equipment.”

  10. Aaronwdc says:

    I’m a cast member at WDW, and no Aaron isn’t my real name, if I spoke out here or even at work, I can be fired. I can say, with sadness, and 100% conviction though they preach “Safe-D” first, that MONEY MONEY MONEY is all that matters with WDW under current management. Public relations is paramount, as is secrecy. There are MANY cutbacks which affect the guest’s safety, and they are NONE the wiser. It’s sick sometimes. We are voiceless as CM’s working there. If it will cost a dime, it won’t be done. There are MANY more incidents that public has any clue about. And that’s by design. If you think you’re as safe at WDW on bus or monorail as on a city subway or bus system, or even the rides at other parks, you’re not using your brain and are in your own fantasyland. WDW management has to change their paradigm of thinking for guest safety and guest experience becoming more important that sheer profits and cutbacks. Sad, but true folks. Some of the new front line CM’s don’t see it, but stick around, report an issue, and see how quickly you’re pulled into a back office and basically told to let it be.

  11. A Florida lawyer once explained to me that the “settlement” is usually funeral costs and such, that only the ones who refuse that go to court, and that with courts in Florida, it’s not up or down, they could find Disney 5% responsible and Disney would still have to pay, plus their legal fees and bad press.

  12. Brian says:

    I must first and foremost say that this was a terrible event and no one in any way deserved this to happen to them or their family members. Such a tragic event at one of the greatest places in the world. That being said, I have three points.

    1) “The child was riding his bike unsupervised [...] when he swerved into the road.”

    When I was little I was always supervised by my parents when riding my bike. As I got older I was given less supervision and then eventually none at all. However, the point in which the less and then no supervision occurred was when I was good at riding my bike with no accidents. A child who could possibly swerve into the roadway (whether at Disney or elsewhere) should never go unsupervised, or more importantly not be allowed to ride alongside the road. (Please note, I am not a parent so this is my personal opinion based of my experience growing up and viewing others)

    2) “swerved into the road and hit the side of a passing Disney bus.”

    If the bus already passed the child and then the child swerved into the bus it is not the fault of the driver and/or Disney. If I get hit by a vehicle towards the rear of my car, it is not my fault.

    3) “The driver of the bus, a cast member with 30 year of experience […], was not cited by the Highway Patrol.”

    The responding policing authority identified this was an accident and not the fault of the driver and therefore no charges and/or citations were presented.

    Again, this was terrible, but it was nothing more than an ACCIDENT and accidents happen. I do not want to place the blame on them because it’s terrible but maybe if the parents were more vigilant maybe this would not have occurred. Maybe it would have been better if they have him riding his bike in a more closed off area or trails away from the roadway. But that is easy to say now. Just because a tragedy occurs doesn’t mean a lawsuit is in order. People in this country are too sue-crazy and no one anymore wants to take responsibility anymore, they just want to shift the blame elsewhere.

    Other than that, the only problem I have with Disney Transportation is the waiting. But that I could possibly attribute to the anticipation of getting to the parks. Also, I wish the monorail went more places.

    Again though, I am sorry to the family of this young boy and my thoughts and prayers are with them.

Comments are closed.