Walt Disney World bus drivers have had difficult March and April. Yesterday, an 80-year old Walt Disney World bus driver was cited for careless driving after crashing into the rear-end of a Chevrolet SUV that was stopped and waiting at a red light. The SUV was hit hard enough that it was pushed into another Disney vehicle waiting at the same traffic light. We don’t know about injuries at this point.
Just before Easter, a different Disney bus driver was involved in an accident that took the life of a 9-year old boy, Chase Brubaker of Redington Beach in Pinellas County. Depending upon who you believe, the boy either veered his bicycle off the sidewalk and into the path of a Disney bus, or a Disney bus driver lost control of his bus and got up on the sidewalk. Either way, this is a wrongful death that did not have to happen. This is obviously a tragic, tragic loss for this family.
A week or so before that, Disney bus driver, Jean Valentin, was charged after rear-ending a distressed bus that was stopped just off of an exit with its hazard lights flashing. The Disney bus driver and seven of his passengers received serious injuries. Several of the Disney bus passengers said that they saw Mr. Valentin handling his cell phone or a radio shortly before the crash. Investigators also noted that there were no skid marks at the scene, suggesting that the driver was not paying enough attention to apply his brakes before the impact.
Disney’s response to these stories has been to insist that it is continuously auditing its procedures to make sure that its operations are safe. We hope that this is true, and not just lip service. This number of significant accidents in such a short time period seems like more than a coincidence.