Boy Dies After Falling from 'Landmark' 400-Foot Tall Orlando Amusement Park Ride
A 14-year-old boy died Thursday after he fell from a ride at ICON Park in Orlando.
Tyre Sampson was visiting Florida from Missouri, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said.
Sampson’s death on the FreeFall ride “appears to be just a terrible tragedy,” Orange County Sheriff John Mina said Friday, according to WFTV-TV.
Mina said “absolutely no criminal charges” have been filed, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
“We can’t imagine the pain and anguish that his family is going through,” he said. “Our prayers and our thought[s] are with the family.”
THIS IS TYRE SAMPSON.
He is the 14-year-old who died after falling off of the “Orlando Free Fall” drop ride. #FOX35 News talks exclusively with his father at 5:00 and 6:00. #Orlando #Dropride pic.twitter.com/w1gdjnh9sG
— LuAnne Sorrell FOX 35 (@FOX35LuAnne) March 25, 2022
Mina said riders are locked into their seats with a device that goes over each rider, but said he was not aware whether there were seat belts.
WFTV was citing witnesses as saying that when the ride halted, Sampson slipped out from underneath the device. That could not be confirmed.
“At first we thought it was a piece of the ride or whatever until we got a little closer, and it was a person laying on the ground,” witness Montrey Williams said, according to WRBW-TV. “Everyone was just panicking and screaming.”
John Stine, a spokesperson for the ride, said it will be closed indefinitely.
“Our hearts go out to the family of this young man,” Stine said. “Our hearts are broken today.”
According to a news release that came out when the rides opened in December, “The Orlando SlingShot and Orlando FreeFall are owned and operated by The Slingshot Group, Keator Construction, LLC is the general contractor responsible for building these landmark attractions. The manufacturer of the rides is Funtime.”
“The Orlando FreeFall at ICON Park stands at 430 feet, making it the world’s tallest free-standing drop tower. Thirty riders at a time can embrace the beautiful sites of ICON Park and I-Drive as the ride vehicle rotates around the gigantic tower and rises high into the skyline. Once the ride vehicle reaches the top, it’ll tilt forward 30 degrees and face the ground for a brief moment before free falling nearly 400 feet at speeds reaching over 75 mph,” the release said.
The world’s tallest slingshot AND drop tower are open at @iconparkorlando @idriveorlando
The Orlando SlingShot sends you 450 ft into the sky, at up to 100 mph
The Orlando FreeFall rises high, tilts forward before free falling nearly 400 ft at 75 mph#Orlando pic.twitter.com/acqIHHgpu7
— Gotta Go Orlando ☀️ (@GottaGoOrlando) January 16, 2022
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and Orange County Sheriff’s Office are investigating, according to WKMG-TV.
“We will have inspectors onsite … with our investigation underway, and therefore we are not able to comment further at this point in time,” the agency said Friday.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.