dawn brancheau, 40, was dragged to her death by killer whale tilikum (not pictured) the whale would not let us have her, another trainer, jodie ann. a judge ruled this week that trainers and killer whales should be separated at seaworld after a whale killed trainer dawn brancheau in orlando, florida. then dawn brancheau, who died yesterday at 40, will say, a whale attacked me! Heads will turn. Really? It grabbed me by the arm, dragged me beneath the water, and i drowned. Feb 25 - a witness describes the killer whale attack that killed trainer dawn brancheau and seaworlds president reads a statement from the victims family.