Disney Reopens Ride After Teen Died - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

6/30/06-Orlando, FL

Disney Reopens Ride After Teen Died

A Disney roller coaster ride that a boy rode before collapsing and dying reopened Friday morning as results were being awaited from his autopsy.

"Rock 'N' Roller Coaster re-opened when Disney-MGM opened at 8 a.m. today," Disney spokeswoman Kim Prunty said in a statement. "Walt Disney World engineers and ride system engineers completed a thorough inspection of the attraction overnight and found it to be operating properly."

Michael Russell, 12, of Fort Campbell, Kentucky, rode the ride Thursday with his mom, dad and 7-year-old brother. He collapsed as his family stepped out of the roller coaster car, Sgt. Carlos Torres said.

Russell's father began administering CPR and was later aided by a Disney assistant, but the boy was not responsive. Russell was then transported by ambulance to Celebration Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The incident at the Orlando, Florida, theme park happened at about 11:30 a.m.

A Disney representative was with the family Thursday afternoon and Disney officials were offering the boy's family their "deepest sympathies," according to a statement.

Disney shut down the ride and a state inspector arrived to observe the Disney investigation. The Orange County Sheriff's Office is conducting an investigation as well.

Disney boasts of the ride on its Web site, "Zoom from 0 to 60 mph with the force of a supersonic F-14, take in high-speed loops and turns synchronized to a specially recorded Aerosmith soundtrack and zip through Tinseltown in the biggest, loudest limo you've ever seen."

It adds: "The 3,400-foot-long track is more than a half mile of sudden accelerations, dips, loops and twists and turns."

Children shorter than 4 feet are not permitted on the ride, according to the Web site.

The last death at a Disney resort was April 12, when 49-year-old Hiltrud Bluemel of Germany suffered a stroke linked to her high blood pressure after riding "Mission: Space" at the Epcot Center in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

Five months before that, a 4-year-old boy died from an unknown heart condition on the same ride.

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