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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary | The Regional

Disneyland Guest Hurt; Police Begin Inquiry

January 22, 1999

ANAHEIM — As a result of a Christmas Eve accident that killed a Disneyland tourist, Anaheim police conducted a full investigation this week when a San Bernardino man suffered a seizure at the theme park, officials said Thursday.

Robert Keefer, 50, was stricken at 1:53 p.m. Monday on a walk near the Big Thunder Mountain roller coaster. Paramedics did not think his condition was grave, but he was later placed in intensive care at UC Irvine Medical Center, police said.

Police Lt. John Haradon said Disney learned that Keefer was in critical condition at 9 p.m. and reported it to police at 9:30.

Investigators talked to paramedics, park guests and employees, and examined the spot where Keefer fell and struck his head. Haradon said Keefer, who has a history of seizures, was conscious and cooperating with paramedics as he left the park.

Haradon said Disney officials probably would never have alerted police to the medical emergency in the past. But after the earlier fatal accident, police met with park executives and stressed the need to report major accidents and medical emergencies, he said.

The handling of the earlier fatal accident by the park and police drew widespread criticism. Police learned about the accident from paramedics and took 4 1/2 hours to reach the scene.

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