Tyre Sampson's Mother Speaks Out On Accident That 'Could Have Been Prevented'
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Featured Image Credit: ABC/ WESH2
The mother of 14-year-old Tyre Sampson has addressed the accident which saw her son fall to his death from an amusement park ride.
Sampson passed away on Thursday 24 March after falling from the Orlando Free Fall attraction at ICON Park in Florida.
His fall was captured on video, footage of which has been widely circulated on social media.
His mother Nekia Dodd has since spoken out about the accident.
In an interview with Good Morning America, Dodd reflected that the accident 'could have been prevented, it should have been prevented'.
She said: "As an operator, you have a job to check those rides, you know?
"From what I saw, that was not done. That was not done. And if it was done it should've been done more than once."
The incident has been described by Sampson's family's attorney as being 'the worst tragedy caught on video' since George Floyd's death.
Attorney Ben Crump, who is representing Sampson's father, stated: "We are doing a thorough investigation into the tragic killing of this 14-year-old child who should have never been killed. We believe this was completely preventable."
BREAKING: We’ve filed a complaint against Orlando’s ICON Park for the wrongful death of 14-year-old Tyre Sampson, who fell approximately 100 feet to his death on the Free Fall ride.— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) April 25, 2022
Learn more: https://t.co/6EBNvUCS1Y
Sampsons' family have since filed a wrongful death lawsuit in the Circuit court of Orange County FI.
Crump and Bob Hilliard filed the lawsuit on behalf of Sampson's father. Attorney Michael Haggard filed it on behalf of Dodd.
An investigation into whether or not Sampson was too heavy to go on the ride was started in the wake of the teenager's death.
WLBT reports that outside engineers from Quest Engineering and Failure Analysis Inc resolved the teenager had also not been properly secured on the ride.
"The cause of the subject accident was that Tyre Sampson was not properly secured in the seat primarily due to misadjustment of the harness proximity sensors," the company resolved.
NEW images from a state investigation show a safety sensor on Freefall had been adjusted allowing the ride to operate with the safety harness open wider on Tyre Sampson's seat. Investigators say the ride operator made the adjustment, allowing the ride to operate while unsafe. pic.twitter.com/a8otxVH8Pd— Jess Miller (@EyeNeedNewsFL) April 18, 2022
The lawsuit has stated five major reasons as to why the teenager fell to his death.
From 'no seatbelts or secondary restraints' being used on the ride, to Sampson's weight being 'significantly over the weight restriction,' as well as faults with the ride's design.
The list of businesses as defendants stated in the lawsuit are: "ICON Park; Orlando Eagle Drop Slingshot, LLC; Extreme Amusement Rides, LLC; The Slingshot Group of Companies and The Slingshot Group; IDL Parent, LLC; ID Center (FL), LLC; Orlando Slingshot, LLC; High Rides, LLC; Funtime Handels, GMBH; Gerstlauer Amusement Rides, GMBH; Keator Construction, LLC; and I Drive 360 Management Services, LLC."
The parents' lawsuit claims the drop ride was 'unreasonably dangerous'.
The ICON Park Free Fall ride tilts forward & falls hundreds of feet at 75+ mph, with riders experiencing g-force greater than astronauts during shuttle take-off …— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) April 25, 2022
Even then, it ONLY had an over-the-shoulder harness despite most free fall rides also having a seatbelt. pic.twitter.com/JFOuREuReL
Attorney for Orlando Slingshot, Trevor Arnold, released the statement: "Orlando Slingshot continues to fully cooperate with the State during its investigation, and we will continue to do so until it has officially concluded. We reiterate that all protocols, procedures and safety measures provided by the manufacturer of the ride were followed.
"We look forward to working with the Florida legislature to implement change in the industry and we are also supportive of the concepts outlined by State Representative Geraldine Thompson to make changes to state law through the ‘Tyre Sampson Bill’ to prevent a tragic accident like this from ever happening again."
LADbible has contacted ICON Park for a comment.
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
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