Orlando FreeFall: Settlement with Teen’s Mother After 400-Foot Ride Crash

There has been a legal settlement between Tyre Sampson’s mother, ICON Park, and the owner of the Orlando FreeFall attraction, according to an announcement made by Tyre’s mother. Tyre was 14 years old at the time.

Sampson jumped from the Orlando FreeFall at ICON Park on March 24, 2022, and tragically lost his life as a result. Sampson’s mom, Nekia Dodd, reportedly made the announcement in Orlando, Florida on Wednesday.

“My son took his last breath on this ride, so it’s heartbreaking, it’s devastating, it’s a feeling I hope no other parent will ever have to go through after this ride comes down,” Dodd said. “When he passed, I wasn’t there for him.

Since the incident on March 24th, the ride has been closed. According to Nikki Fried, the former Florida commissioner of agriculture and consumer services, improper changes to the seat’s proximity sensor caused the safety light to turn on, despite the fact that Sampson was not  “properly secured in the seat.”

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Orlando FreeFall Teen Dies After Falling 400 Foot Ride (1)
Orlando FreeFall Teen Dies After Falling 400-Foot Ride (1)

Dodd has instructed crews to remove any traces of the trip, so they are hard at work doing just that. Sampson’s mom argued that rides higher than 100 feet should equip riders with restraints. It’s important to note the height of the Orlando FreeFall, which is 400 feet.

The proximity sensor on the seat belt Sampson was wearing “was manually loosened, adjusted, and tightened to allow a restraint opening of nearly 7 inches.” according to a report by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

According to the data, a typical variation is about 3 inches. Trevor Arnold, Orlando Slingshot’s attorney, told Fox News Digital that his client is relieved that a settlement was finally reached.

“We are pleased that a settlement has been reached. We also continue to support Sen. Thompson in her efforts to make the ‘Tyre Sampson bill’ state law,” Arnold said.

In a statement, ICON Park expressed its agreement with the decision to demolish the attraction.

“While the FreeFall ride is not owned and was not controlled or operated by ICON Park, because it is a tenant on the property, we agree with the owner’s decision to dismantle the ride and our hearts are with the family as they witness this important milestone,” a spokesperson for the amusement park said.

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