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Woman Claiming To Be Tyre Sampson's Cousin Has No Connection To Family, Investigation Finds

Woman Claiming To Be Tyre Sampson's Cousin Has No Connection To Family, Investigation Finds

Shay Johnson claimed to be related to Shay while speaking to reporters following his death

A woman claiming to be related to the teenager who fell from an amusement ride in Florida actually has no ties to the family, an investigation has determined.

Tyre Sampson passed away after falling from the Orlando FreeFall drop tower at Florida's ICON park on March 24.

Footage caught the moment Tyre fell from the free-fall ride, which lifts riders high into the air before dropping them nearly 400ft at speeds of more than 75mph.

The tragic events prompted calls for increased safety at amusement parks, as well as tributes and expressions of sadness over Tyre's death, with a woman who says her name is Shay Johnson among those speaking out following the events.

Johnson claimed she was the cousin of Tyre, and in the days after his death she has been seen speaking at news conferences, collecting signatures for petitions and holding a vigil outside the ride where Tyre fell. However, Tyre's mother has since told detectives she doesn't know who the woman is.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office shared news of the mother's confusion, but said they are not aware of any crimes being committed at this point, WFTV9 reports.

Attorneys representing the family have also confirmed none of the family members know Johnson.

Johnson previously claimed to have spoken with Tyre shortly before his death, telling MyNews13 the teenager had been excited to go on the FreeFall ride after being turned away from other rides.

Recalling the alleged conversation, Johnson said: "He said 'I am too big. I can’t ride.' So I said, 'go try another one'. That’s when he came to try the SlingShot and they told him he was too big, so then he said, 'cousin there is another ride I am going to try it out'. He called me and said, 'they let me ride it, I can ride, I can ride', so I said 'ok get on'.

"Didn’t know this would be my last time talking to him alive. He just wanted to ride.”

Johnson also expressed her happiness that so many people had attend a vigil to honour Tyre, saying: "It make me feel happy, that so many people came out and showed their love. Half these people out here don’t know us."

Representatives for ICON Park announced the FreeFall ride would be closed indefinitely in the wake of Tyre's death. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Orange County Sheriff's Office have also opened investigations into the incident.

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/WFTV

Topics: Life, US News