On Mar 24, Tyre Sampson, 14, died after falling from Orlando’s Slingshot “Orlando FreeFall ride” at ICON Park in Orlando, Florida. On Oct 6, the CEO of Orlando FreeFall, Ritchie Armstrong, announced that the ride would be dismantled.
However, according to Armstrong, no one has set a date for the ride’s removal.
“We [feel] devastated by Tyre’s death. We have listened to the wishes of Tyre’s family and the community and have made the decision to take down the FreeFall,” Ritchie said in a statement.
The decision to make this change is highly sensible. What is the point of holding onto a ride that could endanger another individual?
ICON Park Agrees That The ‘Orlando FreeFall Ride’ Must Go
According to an ICON Park spokesperson, it supports the decision to remove the ride.
“Tyre’s death is a tragedy that we will never forget. As the landlord, ICON Park welcomes and appreciates Orlando Slingshot’s decision to take down the ride,” ICON Park said.
Moreover, while traveling down the FreeFall’s 430-foot descent at 75 miles per hour, Tyre Sampson plummeted from the structure. Aside from internal injuries, he also sustained head, neck, and torso trauma.
However, after going to the hospital, Sampson passed away.
Furthermore, Ritchie stated that Orlando Slingshot plans on honoring Tyre and his legacy both in the classroom and on the football field by establishing a scholarship in his name. Further details on the scholarship will come out after consultation with Tyre’s family.
Autopsy Report Results
In his autopsy report, the rider exceeded the ride’s weight limit of 287 pounds by about 100 pounds. Thus, Sampson’s family believes that the ride operators should have prevented him from boarding the ride.
It is tragic when the life of a person, especially one who has not lived a long life, cuts short due to uncontrollable circumstances. Before boarding any ride, those operating it must take all safety precautions.
In other words, riders exceeding the weight limit will not be able to participate in the ride as it is a risky undertaking. While some may consider it offensive, the rule is there to save one’s life and the lives of others.
Tyre’s Family Takes Initiative
Furthermore, Tyre’s family has taken additional measures to resolve the issue. A lawsuit was filed against the ride’s operator, manufacturer, and the amusement park, alleging negligence resulting in Tyre’s death. This included inadequate staff training and unsafe ride design.
During the investigation of the accident report released in April, it was concluded that Tyre’s seat was manually adjusted and unsafe. According to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, two of the rides’ seats had their sensors modified to allow them to function. However, the openings on these seats were double the size of normal, which meant the gap may have widened just before Tyre’s fall.
We wish Tyre Sampson a peaceful rest and hope his family can find strength and comfort during their time of grief.
Written by Nikiya Biggs | Twitter: @BiggsNikiya | Instagram: ngv6236
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