At Walt Disney World in Orlando, around 2 A.M last night: two monorails collided. One employee piloting the monorail was killed, no tourists were seriously injured.
Details on what caused the crash are sparse, but it appears to eerily mirror the DC subway collision. Video of the crashed monorail is here; there's nothing too graphic about it other than the Disney employee doing his best to get any and all cameras out of sight. Whether that was due to Disney's well-known penchant for secrecy or for the dignity of the employee, who knows. As someone who took great pleasure in riding the Monorail at one point in his life, though, I can definitively report one thing: this is as strangely sad as it is simply depressing. Also, bad things happen in threes, as we all learned last week. Avoid trains.
Update: the employee's name was Austin Wuennenberg. It appears he took great pride in his job:
According to Wuennenberg's Facebook page, he was a computer science major at Stetson University and was set to graduate in 2010. Wuennenberg, who graduated from Celebration High School in 2006, served as a teacher's aide from August 2007 to May 2008, the Facebook page said.
Wuennenberg listed his position as "Monorail Pilot," a role he had held since October 2008. He described his job as "running the highway in the sky!" The Facebook page also stated that Wuennenberg worked at Disney in "Sunset Attractions" from June 2006 to September 2008. His interests included video games, computers, programming and comedy.
He appears to be the first fatality from the Monorail at Walt Disney World since it first opened, though this isn't the first incident the Monorail's had.
Something else I learned about the Monorail today: Disney guests can join the pilots in the front cab - where Wuennenberg died in the crash's impact - and receive a special commemorative co-pilot's license (pictured here) for doing so.