‘Down and Locked’: Seat on FreeFall Ride Was Still Locked After Teen’s Fatal Fall from Florida Ride

'Down and Locked': Seat on FreeFall Ride Was Still Locked After Teen's Fatal Fall from Florida Ride
'Down and Locked': Seat on FreeFall Ride Was Still Locked After Teen's Fatal Fall from Florida Ride (Image: Screenshot/YouTube/FOX35)

According to an accident report, the seat from which a 14-year-old fell to his death at Orlando’s ICON Park was “down and locked.”

The report detailing the fatal March 24 accident was one of several documents provided by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) as part of an investigation into the safeness of the Orlando FreeFall.

Tyre Sampson was vacationing from Missouri with a friend’s relatives when he plunged from the ride, according to authorities. According to authorities, he died at the hospital as a result of his injuries.

According to the accident report, Sampson was thrown out of his seat when the ride’s magnets engaged. At the time of the accident, the FreeFall ride was also observed to be “coming down the tower.”

“[The] harness was still in a down and locked position when the ride stopped,” according to the report.

The teen stood 6-feet-5-inches tall and weighed more than 300 pounds, according to the lawyer representing Sampson’s family.

The “maximum passenger weight” and size restrictions are outlined in the thrill ride’s Operations and Maintenance Manual, to which it must abide, as 130kg, which equates to approximately 287 pounds, is the max weight.

New records show Orlando FreeFall has weight limit as state continues to investigate teen’s death

The manual also instructs to “be careful when seeing if large guests fit into the seats, Check that they fit within the contours of the seat and the bracket fits properly. If this is not so, Do not let this person ride.”

The Orlando FreeFall’s most recent inspection was in December of 2021. According to inspection reports, the ride complied with Florida regulations. In a “non-destructive test,” the ride was visually inspected.

The accident report also stated who was on the job at the moment of Sampson’s fatal fall. According to the employee’s training documents, he or she received training on operational procedures, duties, overall safety protocols, emergency procedures, and all other outlined training requirements.

According to the Fair Rides Employee Training Record, the employee’s training for the FreeFall ride was finalized on February 21, 2022.

“Words cannot express the sorrow felt by the tragic loss of such a young man, and my thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this unimaginably difficult time,” Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried wrote in a statement.

FDACS is collaborating with the sheriff’s office to determine what caused the tragedy and “precipitate any changes necessary to better protect patrons of amusement rides in Florida.”



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