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  • Writer's pictureGotta Go Orlando

Orlando FreeFall Ride Removal Halted Until After Tyre Sampson Death Investigation Closes

It appears that the Orlando FreeFall ride at ICON Park will continue to stand for some time as a sad reminder of the tragic death of 14-year-old Tyre Sampson who lost his life on the ride.


Although the attractions operators Orlando Slingshot Group had announced on the 6th of October that the ride would be torn down, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services have now said the official investigation into Tyre Sampson's death must be conclude before moving forward with the FreeFall's removal.


“There are ongoing investigations into this tragedy, and the tower will not be taken down until those investigations are complete,” a statement from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services read. At the time of the announcement that the ride would be dismantled, there was no official timeline released, as Orlando Slingshot Group has been waiting on approval from all involved parties. Sampson, a 14-year-old from Missouri, fell from the ride on March 24, sparking a series of lawsuits and investigations surrounding the tragic incident.


Since the death of Tyre Sampson, the Orlando FreeFall has been closed, with the towering ride standing in darkness, a sad blot on the landscape of International Drive ever since.


Orlando FreeFall Ride Removal Postponed Until Tyre Sampson Death Investigation Closes

Investigations up to this point have revealed that Sampson, who was visiting Orlando from Missouri on spring break with friends, was nearly 100 pounds over the weight limit of the ride and Orlando FreeFall employees had less than 5 weeks of experience on night the teen fell to his tragic death.


Other findings show the ride did not function as intended on the night of the tragedy and found issues with the restraint locks and adjusted sensors.


Orlando Slingshot also own the popular Orlando Starflyer, which is near the location of the drop tower, with this ride continuing to be in operation.


Other rides owned by Orlando Slingshot include the slingshot ride at Sunset Walk in Kissimmee, plus another slingshot and a separate ride called The Vomatron at Old Town in Kissimmee.


They also own slingshots in Daytona and Panama City.


ICON Park officials said they support the decision to tear the ride down.


“Tyre’s death is a tragedy that we will never forget. As the landlord, ICON Park welcomes and appreciates Orlando Slingshot’s decision to take down the ride,” said ICON Park.


Orlando FreeFall Ride Removal Postponed Until Tyre Sampson Death Investigation Closes

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