June 22, 2024

Accident report claims boy’s seat was locked when he fell from amusement park ride

The Missouri teenager who fell to his death in an Orlando amusement park last week was wearing a safety harness that was still locked when the ride stopped. 

New details have emerged in the tragic death of Tyre Sampson, 14, who died after falling from the Orlando Free-Fall ride, which stands 430 ft. tall, while visiting ICON Park in Orlando on Thursday, PEOPLE reports.

Staffers who witnessed the gruesome death said the teenager came out of the seat when the magnets engaged to slow the ride during the descent, according to an accident report released Monday by the Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

“Harness was still in a down and locked position when the ride stopped,” said the report filed by the operator with the Fair Rides division of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, CNN reports. 

Yarnell Sampson, the boy’s father, told Fox News his son knew something was off with his safety harness and his restraint bar was moving.

“That’s when he started freaking out. And he was explaining to his friends, next to him, ‘I don’t know man, if I don’t make it down, safely, can you please tell my mamma and daddy that I love them,’” he explained. “For him to say something like that, he must have felt something.”

Sampson died from “multiple injuries and trauma,” the report states.  

The teen, from St. Louis, Missouri, was visiting the amusement park as part of a football program trip. Yarnell said other attractions at the park refused to allow his son on because he was too big at 6’5 and 340 pounds. FreeFall operators allowed him to ride.

“This particular ride decided ‘yeah, we can take you, get on,’ when nobody else would allow him to get on the rides,” said Yarnell.

The boy’s father learned of Sampson’s death after coming across the viral video showing Sampson falling from his seat during the ride’s descent. 

“It felt like somebody hit me so hard in my stomach,” Yarnell told NBC station WESH. “And it’s just sad, a young man’s bright future was taken away from him over a ride, an amusement park.”

The FreeFall ride remains closed as the accident is under investigation. 

An ICON Park spokesman said: “The ICON Park family is grieving because of the tragedy involving Tyre Sampson.

“ICON Park is committed to being a place where families can spend quality time together in a safe a fun space.”

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