The parents of a teen who fell to his death from a Florida amusement park ride have hired attorneys.
Sheriff’s officials and emergency crews responded to a call late Thursday at Icon Park, which is located in the city’s tourist district along International Drive. The boy fell from the Orlando Free Fall ride, which opened late last year.
He was taken to a hospital, where he died, sheriff’s officials said. No additional details about the teen or the incident were immediately released.
Now, ride experts and witnesses talk about what happened.
Orlando’s ICON Park free-fall ride remains closed, as investigators continue to look for answers surrounding the death of Tyre Sampson.
“The focus of our investigation is going to be on the training of the staff on the ground, who may not have secured Tyre before the ride took off,” said Bob Hilliard, the attorney for the Sampson family.
Investigators have not determined what caused Sampson to fall out of the ride, but in the viral video that shows Sampson’s fall, which is too graphic to show, workers can be heard in the moments after discussing safety measures.
Hilliard spoke to WKMG about the legal actions being taken to find who is responsible for the death of the 14-year-old boy.
“The investigation is also going to include the design of the ride itself. There absolutely should be no way a ride can leave the ground if there is any indication that any one of the passengers is not secured,” Hilliard said.
The company that operates the ride said workers are responsible for checking lights on the restraint system to ensure they are properly secured.
“The ride will not ascend unless those harnesses are locked in. There were no indications there was anything different,” said John Stine with Slingshot Group.
“It felt like a dream,” said witness Montrey Williams
Williams said he was standing in front of the ride the night of the teen’s death and noticed the red flags.
“Nobody walked around to see if everybody was securely, you know, locked in,” he said.
“There has to be redundancies, more than a 16-year-old minimum wage kid walking around checking whether or not your harness works,” said Hilliard.
The ride passed a safety inspection in December before it was allowed to open, according to a safety inspection report.