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Weeks after 14-year-old Tyre Sampson fell off the FreeFall ride at ICON Park in Orlando, Florida, falling 400 feet to his death at 75 mph, nationally recognized civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump toured the site of the tragedy as he represents Sampson’s father.
“Other than George Floyd’s tragic torture video, I think this is the worst tragedy captured on video that I’ve ever seen,” Crump said on Tuesday as he and other attorneys toured the FreeFall drop tower ride at Orlando’s ICON Park.
“We’re doing a thorough investigation into the tragic killing of this 14-year-old child. This was completely preventable,” Crump added.
On March 24, Tyre Sampson fell out of his harness as the FreeFall ride was zooming down at nearly 75 mph, according to viral videos of the incident. He died instantly.
While some have questioned whether workers should’ve even allowed Tyre on the ride, considering his height and weight, Tyre’s father has called for permanent closure of the ride as his attorneys continue their investigation.
“I want to know what happened to my son. I want to know why my son is in a white bag, having to get shipped back home. He walked there. Why he can’t walk back? I want answers from everybody. Who all was involved in that?” Yarnell Sampson said, after learning about his son’s death via a viral social media post depicting the tragedy of the currently-closed FreeFall ride.
Investigation of FreeFall ride continues after death of Tyre Sampson
Meanwhile, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) has launched an investigation into the incident. The agency hired a forensic engineering firm to reenact the scene to “come to the conclusion of what happened,” according to a Friday statement from FDACS commissioner Nikki Fried.
An operator with FDACS’ fair rides division claimed Tyre Sampson’s seat was “still in a down and locked position when the ride stopped.” The report adds that Sampson came out of his seat when the magnets engaged to slow the ride during its descent, citing employees who witnessed the tragic death.
According to FreeFall’s operations manual, the maximum weight for the ride is approximately 287. Yet 14-year-old Sampson stood 6’5 and weighed 340 pounds, according to his family.
“And the pain behind it could never be taken away — and sorry’s not gonna take it back and no monies, no nothing in the world to replace the young man. And it’s just sad, a young man’s bright future was taken away from him over a ride, an amusement park,” Yarnell Sampson said.
According to the FreeFall ride’s own manual: “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.”
As attorney Ben Crump and others continue their investigation, the Sampson family continues to demand a permanent closure to the ride and answers after the loss of cherished, young life.
Editor’s note: The Black Wall Street Times has chosen not to share any videos related to this tragic incident.