Boy dies years after Disneyland ride accident

A 13-year-old boy who never fully recovered from crushing injuries after he fell from a Disneyland children’s ride in 2000 died on Monday. An autopsy was inconclusive as to the cause of death.

Brandon Zucker was 4 when he fell from the Roger Rabbit Car Toon Spin ride in September 2000. The boy was dragged underneath the car, causing serious internal injuries, cardiac arrest and brain damage.

While pinned under one of the ride’s cars for several minutes he suffered a ruptured diaphragm, a collapsed left lung, a torn liver and spleen, and a fractured pelvis. He was in a coma for several weeks.

On Sunday morning, Brandon was found unresponsive at his father’s home in Anaheim, and died early Monday at Children’s Hospital of Orange County, according to sheriff’s spokesman Jim Amormino.

He said he had no details of Brandon’s health before the death. He said the coroner’s office was awaiting blood tests and tissue samples to complete the autopsy. No other autopsies were planned.

Brandon’s family reached a settlement with Disney about 17 months after the accident, which did not require Disney to assume blame. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed but ensured the youngster would receive medical care for the rest of his life.

In December 2000, a state agency investigating the accident concluded that a likely cause was a lap bar that had malfunctioned and Brandon’s placement next to an opening in the car.

Roger Rabbit ride was reopened in July 2001 after changes recommended by the state were made, including the addition of bumpers around each car to prevent anything from getting caught underneath.

In June 2002, Disney also unveiled safety measures at its theme parks nationally and named its first chief safety officer.

Disney spokeswoman Suzi Brown said Monday that Disney was saddened about the boy’s death.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this difficult time,” she said in a statement.


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