A 36-year-old driving instructor from Davenport died last Sunday after a Lamborghini, in which he was riding, went out of control at 100 mph on one of the courses at the Richard Petty Driving Experience at Walt Disney World, Florida. The customer behind the wheel of the vehicle lost control and properly crashed into a guard rail.
Gary Terry, the man in the passenger seat, was a senior operations manager at the exotic driving racing attraction at Walt Disney World, and he also was a professional driving instructor.
Tavon Watson, 24, of nearby Kissimmee, failed to maneuver the high-powered vehicle through the course Sunday afternoon, lost control and the sports car’s passenger side struck the guard rail, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. Terry died at the scene; Watson was taken to hospital with minor injuries, treated and later released.
According to the authorities, cameras show Terry reaching for the steering wheel to try to pull the vehicle out of a spin. The video showed that both men were wearing seat belts and safety helmets. Terry was killed instantly when the car hit the guard rail.
Sunday was Watson’s 24th birthday and he told investigators he had been to the race track before. Florida Highway Patrol is conducting the crash investigation.
The track opened in Orlando in 1997 and is operated by Petty Holdings set up by Nascar legend Richard Petty. The company has other attractions at speedways in Atlanta, Daytona Beach, New Jersey, Kansas, New Hampshire and Texas. The exotic-car experience, where people can drive Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Porsches was introduced four years ago. Customers can pay from $200 to $400 for a five or six-lap experience around a track with a professional driving instructor in the passenger seat offering advice. The exotic-car experience includes an in-car video.
Officials said driving classes at the Exotic Driving Experience would be put on hold for a few days.
The Exotic Driving Experience, along with its sister track, the Richard Petty Driving Experience, is scheduled to close on June 28 to make way for transportation improvements.