Death in Disneyland

05/25/1999 at 12:00 AM EDT

A tourist who suffered head injuries in an accident aboard Disneyland's Columbia sailing ship died after he was taken off life support. Luan Phi Dawson was brain-dead for nearly 11 hours before he was removed from life support and pronounced dead Saturday night. His body had been kept functioning to allow a relative to arrive and see him. Dawson, 33, of Duvall WA had major injuries to his brain and to a major blood vessel in his head, Dr. Richard Kim of the UC Irvine, Medical Center said. Dawson and his wife, Lieu Vuong, were struck in the head when a mooring rope tore a foot-long metal cleat from the hull of the park's sailing ship and whipped it into a crowd on Christmas Eve. A Disneyland employee suffered major leg injuries. The Columbia, a full-sized replica of an old American tall ship, was closed pending a full examination.

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