ORANGE, California – A 13-year-old boy who never fully recovered after he fell from a Disneyland children's ride in 2000 died on Monday.
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.
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.
The 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.
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.