Northwest NEWS

January 4, 1999

Front Page

Report: Disneyland worker misjudged speed of ride

by Valley View staff

   An accident at Disneyland that killed a Duvall man and injured his wife was caused when a dock worker secured a line to a cleat of a ship that was moving too fast, an Orange County coroner's report said last week.

   Luan Phi Dawson, 33, suffered severe head injuries Christmas Eve when he was struck by the cleat that was ripped from the bow of the Columbia sailing ship. He died two days later. His wife, Lieu Thuy Vuong, 43, was hit in the face and underwent minor reconstructive surgery at the University of California-Irvine Medical Center. She was discharged from the hospital on Jan. 2.

   The Duvall couple had been waiting in line to board the ride when they were hit. According to the report, assistant manager Christine Carpenter, 30, lashed the mooring line to the ship, apparently misjudging its speed as it came into the dock. As the line pulled tight, it ripped the footlong cleat from the bow, throwing it 15 feet into the crowd. Carpenter suffered foot and ankle injuries when she was hit by the rope which "whipsawed" back. The ride is a replica of a tall sailing ship, but runs on a track under the water.

   The couple, who had lived in Duvall since February, had gone to Disneyland on vacation with their son and grandson. Dawson was an employee at Microsoft.