I don’t think I was aware there was a track at Disney World, and this accident that killed a (probable) driving instructor is a tragic way to find out about it. The track is used by the Exotic Driving Experience, and the 24 year-old driver seems to have been a client, and the 36 year-old passenger, Gary Terry, was presumably a driving instructor. [UPDATE: He was an instructor]
Terry was the operations manager at the track, and was riding in the passenger seat as Tavon Watson piloted the white Lamborghini Gallardo around the track as part of a five to six lap ‘driving experience’ with a professional driver riding shotgun.
The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating the accident, and so far the only reason given so far has been “failure to maneuver.” The car impacted a guard rail along one of the track’s curves, and the straight skid marks in the image across the curve suggest possibly a particularly bad understeering situation, but it’s not really clear.
What is clear is that driving instructors have incredibly dangerous jobs, and any time a possible novice is on a track in a powerful car, accidents can happen.
The track is operated by Petty Holdings, which also operates a Richard Petty Driving Eexperience attraction on the same track. Petty Holdings issued a statement saying
“On behalf of everyone in the organization, it is with a very heavy heart that we extend our deepest sympathies to those involved in today’s tragic accident in Orlando.”
Be safe out there.
[UPDATE 1] It’s been confirmed that Terry was a driving instructor at the event.
[UPDATE 2] The family has set up a GoFundMe page to help with the funeral expenses.