The family of a 14-year-old boy who fell from an amusement park ride in Orlando this month is pushing to have the ride shut down indefinitely after his father learned about his son’s death on social media.
The incident happened earlier this month on the ICON Park’s Free Fall, which has been described as the world’s largest tower ride. The ride lifts passengers 430 feet into the air before it drops straight down in a “free fall” manner.
The victim, identified as Tyre Sampson, of Missouri, was rushed to the hospital, where he passed away from his injuries. At the time, he was at the park with his school from St. Louis, visiting during Spring Break.
“I wish I was there to tell him I love him, that I’m sorry. For him to lose his life. So young, and I wish it was me,” Tyre’s dad, Yarnell Sampson, told WESH.
“I want to know what happened to my son. I want to know why my son is in a white bag, having to get shipped back home. He walked there. Why he can’t walk back? I want answers from everybody. Who all was involved in that?”
Sampson added that he didn’t learn about his son’s death until he saw a video going viral on social media.
“It felt like somebody hit me so hard in my stomach. I just lost, I lost, lost wind. And the pain behind it could never be taken away, and sorry’s not gonna take it back and no monies, no nothing in the world to replace the young man. And it’s just sad, a young man’s bright future was taken away from him over a ride, an amusement park,” Yarnell Sampson said.
Tyre, who weighed over 300 pounds and stood 6-feet-5inches tall, was a football standout with a bright future, according to his father. He had recently been recruited to play ball for several high schools in the area.
Meanwhile, Tyre’s family secured attorney Ben Crump in a legal case to have the ride permanently shut down.
OCSO and the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services are currently investigating. No one is facing criminal charges at this time.
An accident report released Monday indicated that the ride was in good working condition, ABC 9 reports. Tyre, however, was 60 pounds heavier than the ride’s recommended rider weight.
Bill Kitchen, president of U.S. Thrill Rides, told WESH that the employee who operated the ride on the night in question had been trained around a month ago and likely failed to harness the boy correctly.
“It’s clear to anybody, not just ride safety engineers, that that boy was not harnessed properly,” Kitchen said. “Not to ask him to step off or at least get him properly restrained was, it’s unforgivable. I can’t understand it.”
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[Feature Photo: YouTube/Attractions Magazine]