FreeFall Tower in Orlando Coming Down After Teen Death

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In March of 2022, we reported about the fatal accident that occurred at the Orlando FreeFall Tower at ICON Park. Fourteen-year-old Missouri teen, Tyre Sampson, slipped out of the restraints of the massive FreeFall Tower and fell to his death.  It was reported later via the autopsy report that the teen was over 100 pounds over the limit for the attraction.

At the time of the accident, the attorney for the parent company of the Orlando FreeFall, Orlando Slingshot said: “The loss of Tyre Sampson was a tragic accident. We continue to communicate and cooperate with representatives of Tyre’s family, as well as the Department of Agriculture. We are devoted to working with our lawmakers in making lasting safety changes in the amusement park industry.”

Tyre’s family went on to sue ICON Park, who rents the space to the company owning the FreeFall, the Slingshot Group, and Funtime Thrill Rides, the manufacturer of the attraction.  The lawsuit alleges that if the company would have spent $660 to add seatbelts to each of the seats the attraction would have been safer.  Also, the lawsuit adds:

  • a mechanism should have been added to alert operators if a seat was not properly secured and to stop the attraction if a seat was not properly secured
  • no one should have the ability to change the settings on the sensors
  • a warning about height and weight restrictions should have been visible to guests
  • the attraction should not have been launched if all of the riders were unsecured

A finding reported that a manual adjustment was made to the harness to allow it to operate at almost double the operating ability thus making the ride unsafe.

The attraction has not operated since Sampson’s death in March of 2022.

The owner/operator of the attraction, The Slingshot Group, announced in a statement today that they will be taking down the tower.  They added: “We are devastated by Tyre’s death. We have listened to the wishes of Tyre’s family and the community, and have made the decision to take down the FreeFall. In addition, Orlando Slingshot will honor Tyre and his legacy in the classroom and on the football field by creating a scholarship in his name.”

The decision to demolish may bring some small closure for the Sampson family during this unimaginable tragedy.

Are you in agreement with this decision? Let us know in the comments.

Source: ClickOrlando


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