A tourist, 32-year-old Adam Lee, was killed when a maintenance worker allowed the man to drive the Orlando International Airport tram as it was undergoing a routine safety check. Lee took the controls of the tram but was ejected through the tram’s front window when the tram came to a sudden stop. The man crashed through the window before falling 15-feet through the tracks onto the grassy area below.
The Orlando Sentinel reports that Adam Lee was at the Orlando International Airport preparing to leave for a vacation to Colombia when the deadly accident occurred. Lee entered an Orlando International Airport tram as it was undergoing a routine safety check. One of the maintenance workers was a friend of Lee’s and allowed the man to take control of the tram as the two workers completed their duties. However, since the tram was being worked on, it was placed in manual mode. As a safety precaution, anytime hands are removed from the controls when the tram is in manual, it causes the tram to make an emergency stop.
The tram was only going 5 mph when Lee removed his hands momentarily from the control panel. As a result, the tram performed an emergency stop. During the abrupt stop, Lee was thrown through the tram’s front window. After flying through the window, Lee fell through the tracks below and landed 15-feet below the tracks’ surface on a grassy area.
Lee was taken to the hospital, but was pronounced dead upon arrival. WESH notes that Lee was not an authorized driver of the tram and never should have been behind the wheel of the OIA transportation system. Orlando International Airport executive director Phil Brown says that at the time of the fatal accident there were four people on the tram including two maintenance workers and two unauthorized individuals. Brown says that the whole ordeal was an “unfortunate accident” and that no foul play is suspected.
“The way the system works is if it’s going that low a speed and you take your hand off the controller it activates multiple sets of brakes. Those brakes went into action, stopped the car instantaneously and the gentleman was propelled out of the vehicle. I think it was unfortunate and accidental based on what’s been reported to me.”
OIA operations manager Stan Thorton says that one of the maintenance workers in the tram was also thrown from the vehicle and landed on the tug road below, but the incident did not result in death. The airport says that the maintenance worker who allowed the unauthorized individuals on the tram has had his credentials taken away. The tram involved in the incident was also taken out of commission for the time and another tram is being used in its place until a thorough safety check can be performed.
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