ANAHEIM, Calif. -- A tourist who should have been strapped into a bobsled on Disneyland's Matterhorn roller coaster ride fell onto the track and was struck and killed by another sled, the ninth death since the amusement park opened in 1955.
Regina Young, 48, of San Jose, Calif., had been sitting alone in the rear half of an eight-passenger bobsled when the accident occurred Tuesday afternoon about halfway down the man-made mountain, officials said.
Disneyland spokesman Bob Roth said the woman was visiting the park with four friends, who were seated in front of the victim and did not see her leave the sled about 3:30 p.m. PST.
He said they did not realize she had fallen out until the end of the ride, which was shut down automatically within about 30 seconds of the accident. No one in the sled that hit Mrs. Young was injured.
The Matterhorn was closed after the accident, but a park official said it would reopen today.
'That's the big question,' Roth said, 'how did she come out? There was nothing mechanical. There was no breakdown. It's the matter of a woman coming out of the vehicle somehow. How does that happen?'
The seatbelt that was supposed to keep Mrs. Young in the sled was unbuckled but not broken, officials said. Roth said the woman would have been buckled into her seat before the 70-second bobsled run.
The Matterhorn bobsled is a ride in which eight-people, strapped one in front of another in two cars, ride along a 3-foot-wide track that swerves and dives around the snow-capped mountain and through narrow, simulated caverns.
Mrs. Young apparently was killed instantly when the following bobsled, traveling at 20 mph, struck her on the track. It was not immediately known whether anyone witnessed the accident.
Park officials originally refused comment on the death, but later issued a statement noting that more than 230 million people have visited the park since it opened in 1955.
The woman was the fifth guest to die on a Disneyland ride. The most recent happened in 1980 when a youth climbed out of the People Mover ride and was crushed to death.
The other four deaths at the park were two teenagers who drowned in the river surrounding Tom Sawyer's Island in Frontierland, a youth who was stabbed during an argument, and an employee.