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Tyre Sampson May Have Been Too Heavy For Ride Before Falling To Death

Tyre Sampson May Have Been Too Heavy For Ride Before Falling To Death

An investigation has been launched following the death of the 14-year-old

Tyre Sampson may have been too heavy for the ride from which he fell to his death.

The 14-year-old died after riding the Orlando Free Fall attraction at ICON Park in Florida last Thursday, 24 March.

As the ride dropped, he could be seen falling from it and plummeting to the ground, prompting eyewitnesses to call emergency services. He was rushed to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

An investigation has been launched in the wake of the tragedy and it appears that Tyre may have been too heavy to be on the ride.

The ride opened in December.
FOX 35

The ride's operations and maintenance manual – which has been posted online by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services – indicates the maximum passenger weight is 130 kilogrammes (287lbs).

Tyre's dad, Yarnell, has said that his son – known by his friends as Big Tick – was 6ft 5ins and weighed 340lbs (154kg).

The manual states: "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."

An accident report, filed by the operator with the fair rides division of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, has revealed that Tyre's seat was still in a locked position when the ride stopped.

Sampson is said to have come out of the seat when the magnets engaged to slow the ride during the descent, according to the report, which was obtained by CNN.

"[The] Harness was still in a down and locked position when the ride stopped," the report said.

UNILAD has reached out to ride operator Slingshot Group and ICON Park for comment.

SlingShot Group spokesperson John Stine previously told CBS News it's 'very difficult to say' what went wrong, adding: "The way the ride is designed, with all the safety features and redundancy, there shouldn't be an issue."

It comes after Tyre's dad Yarnell spoke out about his son's fears before the ride set off.

Yarnell said his son was panicking.
FOX 35

Tyre, from Missouri, was on holiday with friends through a football programme when he visited the amusement park, but Yarnell said his boy was worried about the ride before his tragic death.

Speaking to FOX 35, he said: "He was panicking when he was going up.

"When the ride took off, that's when he was feeling uncomfortable. He was like, 'What's going on?'

"That's when he started freaking out, and he was explaining to his friend next to him, 'I don't know man. If I don't make it down, please tell my Mom and Daddy I love them.'

"For him to say something like that, he must have felt something."

He added: "This should never happen to anyone else's child ever again, and if I have anything to do with this, it will not happen ever again."

The ride opened in December and is described as the world's tallest free-standing drop tower, which takes up to 30 guests up into the air, before dropping 400 feet at 70mph.

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677 

Featured Image Credit: FOX 35 Orlando

Topics: US News