Guest Dies on Big Thunder Mountain, Some Claim Ghost Haunts Attraction

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Big Thunder Mountain at night

Credit: Disney

In 2003, a Guest tragically passed away after a wheel fell off a locomotive on Disneyland’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and caused it to crash. Now, rumors state that his ghost lives on near the attraction.

big thunder mountain disneyland
Credit: Disney

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According to the Los Angeles Times, a 22-year-old Guest passed away in 2003 while riding Big Thunder Mountain at Disneyland due to a wheel falling off and causing the ride vehicle to crash. 10 others were injured as well.

Per the report:

The crash occurred when two bolts on the locomotive’s left guide wheel assembly fell off, causing an axle to jam into the railroad’s ties. The locomotive nose-dived, and its rear hit the top of a tunnel. The force snapped a tow bar connecting the locomotive to the lead passenger car, which slammed into the locomotive’s undercarriage.

Torres was sitting in the lead passenger car when the incident occurred.

big thunder mountain disneyland
Credit: Disney

Related: VIDEO: Guest Jumps Off Big Thunder Mountain to Retrieve His Phone

At the time, Disney accepted responsibility for the Big Thunder Mountain accident as Disneyland spokesman Rob Doughty said “We all deeply regret that the tragic accident occurred and are terribly saddened by the grievous pain this caused the Torres family.”

Allegedly, the ghost of Torres can now be seen sitting on a bench outside of Big Thunder Mountain. Reports say that Cast Members avoid the area at night.

big thunder mountain railroad
Credit: Disney

Per the Los Angeles Times:

After the crash, the state ordered Disneyland to retrain ride maintenance workers, managers and ride operators; to require a test run of all cars on Big Thunder Mountain before passengers are loaded; and to require that those who perform maintenance on rides be the ones who sign that the work was completed.

The Big Thunder Mountain crash was one of three major accidents during a five-year period at Disneyland in which ride maintenance arose as an issue. A patron was killed in 1998 when he was hit by an iron cleat that a taut rope tore from the Columbia sailing ship. Two years later, nine passengers were injured on Space Mountain when a bolt broke on a wheel assembly.

Big Thunder Mountain at night
Credit: Disney

The report continued:

Disneyland has retrained machinists, maintenance workers and managers, he said, and a month after the accident instructed ride operators on what to do when an attraction behaved oddly — steps that pleased the Torres family.

“Marcelo’s parents didn’t want things to go right back to business as usual,” Aitken said. “If their son had to die, they wanted his life to at least make someone safer in the future.”

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Torres Family. 

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