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Disney Employee is Struck and Killed by DUI Driver in Burbank

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Disney Employee is Struck and Killed by DUI Driver in Burbank

Posted on September 15, 2017 | Written By: iadminlaw

Disney employee is struck and killed by DUI driver in BurbankDetails of the Fatal Crash

September 14th─ a 37-year-old Burbank man was charged with driving under the influence in connection a fatal traffic collision that killed a Walt Disney Studios employee outside of Walt Disney Studios in Burbank Thursday morning Sept. 7th. The incident occurred just after 9:00 a.m. at the intersection of Alameda Avenue and Lincoln Street, when a pedestrian later identified as 54-year old Michelle Landes of Los Angeles, was hit by a vehicle as she was crossing the intersection. Landes, an executive assistant in Disney’s legal department, was on her way to work at the time of the collision. Burbank Police officers were able to detain 2 male occupants of the suspected vehicle. Authorities conducted a DUI investigation which revealed that either alcohol or drugs, or possibly a combination of the 2 factored into the accident. The driver was identified as Stergios Economos, 37- years old, of Burbank. The 2nd man, a passenger in the car that struck Landes, was released. Landes was transported by ambulance to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead by medical staff.

Suspect Arrested and Booked for Manslaughter

Economos was arrested and booked into the Burbank City Jail for vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. On Monday, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office charged Economos with 1 count each of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and driving under the influence of a drug causing injury. It’s also alleged by the district attorney’s office he inflicted great bodily injury on 2 other people. He faces a maximum of more than 11 years in prison and is held in lieu of $1-million bail.

Victim Lauded by Friends and Colleagues

Disney CEO Bob Iger sent out an email to local employees informing them of what happened. “We lost a valued Cast Member this morning in a tragic accident outside the Alameda Gate of the Disney lot,” Iger said in the email obtained by the Burbank Leader. “A number of other Cast Members witnessed the tragedy, and are understandably very shaken by the experience.” Iger continued, “I know Michelle’s friends and colleagues are stunned by this awful news, and we’re all heartbroken by the loss.”

Friends say Landes was an animal lover with a big heart. She was involved in a non-profit that helped rescue animals. “It’s kind of unbelievable to see her every day, you know just out being friendly giving a wave a hello or a chat, to know that she’s gone because of terrible people. I actually walked by her apartment last night and saw all the lights off, and it really hit me. That is someone who is actively out to hurt or kill themselves or someone else. If there’s any justice in the world he’ll never see the outside of a jail cell again,” said neighbor Trent Hamilton.

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