14 March 2011 by Henry Pierson Curtis, Orlando Sentinel
A Disney worker injured Sunday while repairing the Primeval Whirl ride died early today, the Orange County Sheriff's Office said.
The worker, identified as 52-year-old Russell Sherry Roscoe, suffered massive head injuries Sunday while working on the ride at Disney's Animal Kingdom and he was airlifted to Orlando Regional Medical Center, the Sheriff's Office said.
He died at ORMC this morning.
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration on Monday opened an investigation into the accident.
Disney has not released details of what Roscoe, who lived in Sumter County, and his co-workers were doing at the time of the accident.
Roscoe was working on a part of the roller coaster ride known as "The Little Dip," according to a 911 call released by Reedy Creek Fire District, Walt Disney World's municipal fire department.
"We need somebody right now," a co-worker told a 911 dispatcher. "One of our maintenance guys got hit by a moving vehicle…He got in the way of a moving vehicle."
Roscoe, who suffered a massive head injury, was given first-aid care by his co-workers as they waited for Reedy Creek paramedics to reach the accident.
"We're trying to keep him conscious," the unidentified co-worker told 911, before calling out encouragement to Roscoe. "Stay conscious, please!...Stay with us…Stay with us, man!"
The ride was closed for previously scheduled maintenance at the time of the accident, which occurred out of view of theme-park patrons.
"Our Walt Disney World community has experienced a tragic loss," Walt Disney World President Meg Crofton said in a statement. "We extend our heartfelt condolences to Russ Roscoe's family and we are working to assist them during this difficult time; our thoughts and our prayers are with them."
Crofton added, "There is no higher priority than the safety of our cast and our guests, and we will work with authorities to thoroughly review every aspect of this incident."
The death is the second associated with the ride.
In November 2007, Disney worker Karen Price, 63, was working on an elevated rider-loading platform when she was struck by one of the roller coaster vehicles. She died five days later.
After Price's death, Disney renovated the Primeval Whirl ride and installed sensors to prevent a similar accident from happening in the same area of the ride.
In 2008, federal investigators faulted Disney for five safety violations and fined the company $21,000 for the accident that caused Price's death. GO BACK