| Orlando Sentinel Staff Writer 6:06 PM EST, December 18, 2007
A 44-year-old man has died after riding the Expedition Everest roller coaster at Disney’s Animal Kingdom today. Jeffrey Reed, of Navarre, was unconscious and unresponsive when his ride vehicle pulled into the unload area, around 11:25 this morning. Another park guests who is a registered nurse and a Disney employee began cardiopulmonary resuscitation until Reedy Creek Emergency Services paramedics arrived and took over, said Assistant Fire Chief Bo Jones. The man had no pulse when paramedics arrived, Jones said. There was no apparent trauma and “no obvious signs of any cause,” Jones said. The paramedics transported him to Celebration Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Walt Disney World officials said the ride was inspected this morning and was operating properly, but is currently closed while Disney officials reconfirm the ride’s status. The Florida Bureau of Fair Rides Inspection and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office were notified. A Disney spokeswoman said the company has offered the man’s family “our deepest sympathies” and offered assistance.
The death is the first associated with the roller coaster Expedition Everest, which opened in early 2006. That ride includes tight twists and turns and some backwards travel but is not a particularly fast or steep roller coaster and has no loops. The death is the third death associated with a Disney attraction this year and the first since March, when a man died after collapsing at the Downhill Double Dipper at Blizzard Beach.