The guidelines for operating the Orlando FreeFall, a drop tower ride in ICON Park where 14-year-old Tyre Sampson plunged to his death, indicate that the boy exceeded the ride’s weight restrictions.
According to a KTLA news report, sister station WFLA in Florida obtained the operations manual for the Orlando FreeFall amusement park ride, which lists the maximum weight for the ride as less than 287 pounds. Sampson’s father, Yarnell Sampson, said his son weighed over 300 pounds.
Questions About Orlando FreeFall Safety Systems
Yarnell Sampson told the media that his son was “uneasy” about the ride and that he was feeling uncomfortable when the ride began. Tyre was 6-foot-5 and weighed 340 pounds. He wasn’t allowed to get on other rides, his father said. But, this particular ride allowed him to get on, leading his family to wonder why.
Tyre dropped out of his seat from the 430-foot, free-fall amusement park ride. The Orlando FreeFall ride is based in the heart of Orlando’s tourist district, not far from Disney World, and is taller than the Statue of Liberty.
According to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Orlando FreeFall was inspected in December and has been open for less than six months. The company that operates the ride said there are several safety checks in place and that “everything was functioning properly when the ride started.”
But they have said they are looking into what happened after that. There are also questions about whether Tyre’s restraint system was properly affixed during the ride and whether that played a part in this tragic accident.
Tyre attended school in St. Louis, where he planned to play football in high school next year, his family said. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the Sampson family through this difficult time.
There are still several unanswered questions here. We trust a thorough investigation will be conducted to determine if there was negligence on the part of the ride operator, the ride’s owner or other parties involved. Based on media reports, Tyre should not have been allowed on the ride because he exceeded the ride’s weight limit. It is not clear why he was allowed to ride.
In such cases, where negligence may be a factor, it is important for families to reach out to an experienced personal injury lawyer who has experience successfully handling ride accidents. Families of victims may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation for their tremendous losses. We hope the results of these investigations and legal actions make amusement park rides safer for the public and go a long way in preventing such heartbreaking tragedies.