The man behind the wheel of a car that struck and killed a female Disney employee outside the company’s Burbank headquarters this morning could face up to 10 years in state prison for driving under the influence of drugs.
“Please join me in keeping (name redacted)’s loved ones in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time,” CEO Bob Iger wrote in a message to staff after the fatality Thursday.
The 64-year-old female employee in the Disney legal department was hit while crossing the street outside the media giant’s HQ at 9 AM today. The car then smashed into three nearby cars on the street before coming to a halt. Deadline is not releasing the victim’s name, but we have confirmed she was pronounced dead soon after being transported to a local hospital.
Burbank police tell Deadline that the 37-year-old driver, Stergios Economos of Burbank, is being held on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. In California, the felony carries a sentence of up to a decade behind bars. Economos is already sitting in a cell with bail set at $100,000, and he is schedule to appear in court September 11.
“Right now we are suspecting just drugs were involved,” Sgt. Derek Green of the Burbank Police Department told Deadline of the fatal crash, which occurred at the intersection of Alameda Avenue and Lincoln Street. Green said a full toxicology workup has been conducted on Economos. A second man in the car has been not been arrested or charged as of this evening.
The streets around the incident were shut down for several hours after the incident.
Alameda Ave CLOSED in both directions between Buena Vista St and Keystone St in Burbank until further notice pic.twitter.com/GkA85una7k
— Burbank Police (@BurbankPD) September 7, 2017
Later Thursday, Iger personally sent a company-wide email addressing the tragedy.
“As some of you may have heard, we lost a valued Cast Member this morning in a tragic accident outside the Alameda Gate of the Disney lot,” Iger said. “(name redacted), an executive assistant in our legal department, was struck by a vehicle on her way to work and passed a short while later at the hospital,” the CEO added. “A number of other Cast Members witnessed the tragedy, and are understandably very shaken by the experience.”
“I know (name redacted) friends and colleagues are stunned by this awful news, and we’re all heartbroken by the loss,” Iger continued. “We have reached out to her family to offer our support and deepest condolences. Please join me in keeping (name redacted)’s loved ones in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”