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The Orlando, Florida amusement park ride where a 14-year-old fell off and died opened in December 2021, just three months before the deadly incident.
Tyre Sampson, 14, died after falling off of the Orlando FreeFall ride at ICON Park just a week ago on March 24.
The Orlando FreeFall passed its initial inspections by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services on December 20, 2021, and opened to the public shortly after.
The Orlando FreeFall and the Orlando SlingShot, both located at ICON Park, are operated by the SlingShot Group of Companies.
Since the incident, ICON Park has demanded that the Slingshot Group of Companies suspend operations of the Orlando FreeFall as well as the Orlando SlingShot until they are proven to be safe by authorities.
FLORIDA FREEFALL TEEN DEATH: RIDE SAFETY EXPERT HARNESS ‘WAS NOT ON CORRECTLY’
“ICON Park formally notified the owner of the Orlando FreeFall, the SlingShot Group, demanding suspension not only of the operation of Orlando FreeFall but also the operation of Orlando SlingShot, effective immediately, until the attractions are proven to be safe by authorities,” a statement on ICON Park’s website states.
ICON Park says that March 24 was “the saddest day in the history of ICON Park.”
An accident report filled out by an employee after Sampson fell off the Orlando FreeFall states that the harness was still in a locked position when the ride stopped.
“FreeFall was coming to [sic] down the tower. When the magnets engaged, the patron came out of the seat,” an employee wrote in the report. “Harness was still in a down and locked position when the ride stopped.”
The ride manual for the Orlando FreeFall states that the maximum passenger weight is just over 286 pounds. Sampson was 6 feet, 5 inches tall and weighed 330 pounds, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
FLORIDA FREEFALL TEEN DEATH: COUSIN SAYS TEENAGER WAS DENIED FROM ENTERING TWO OTHER RIDES
Prior to being allowed to ride on the Orlando FreeFall, Sampson was allegedly denied entrance from two other rides at the amusement park, according to Sampson’s cousin, Shay Johnson, who spoke with Spectrum News 13.
According to video obtained by FOX 35 Orlando, one person can be heard asking “Did you check him?” after Sampson fell off the ride.
“Yeah. The light was on,” one person said in the video.
“You guys are sure you checked him?” one person said.
“Yeah. The light was on. The light was on,” another responded.
FLORIDA FREEFALL TEEN DEATH: SEAT HARNESS STILL LOCKED AFTER HORRIFYING ACCIDENT AT ORLANDO PARK
911 calls released by Orange County Fire Rescue Department show one person claiming that the seatbelt was not securely fastened on Sampson.
“Okay, so was he up off the ground?,” the 911 dispatcher asked.
“No, they didn’t secure the seatbelt on him,” the 911 caller said.
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In a statement, the SlingShot Group, which operates the Orlando FreeFall, said that it will cooperate with the investigation and expressed its deepest sympathy to Sampson’s family and friends.
“We are heartbroken with the incident that took the life of one of our guests. We extend our condolences and deepest sympathy to his family and friends. We are working with the Sheriff’s Office and ride officials on a full investigation. The Orlando FreeFall will be closed until further notice,” the statement reads.