Orlando ICON Park FreeFall accident report reveals no new details

2022-04-02 06:42:18 By : Ms. cyan lin

The safety harness and seat of the 14-year-old boy who fell to his death from an amusement park ride in Florida last week were still locked at the end of the ride, according to the accident report.

Tyre Sampson fell from the Orlando FreeFall on Thursday at ICON Park, a ride billed as "the world’s tallest free-standing drop tower," and the report offered no new details about what caused the accident amid demands from his family and park officials to shut down the ride.

On FreeFall, which opened in the center of Orlando's Entertainment District late last year, 30 riders rise to the top, tilt forward and plunge nearly 400 feet at speeds reaching over 75 mph, according to a January release from the park.

Tyre fell when the magnets engaged to slow the ride as passengers came down the tower, according to the report filed by the ride operator to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The agency and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office are investigating the death.

'SHOCKED AND HEARTBROKEN':14-year-old dies in fall from massive drop tower in Florida

The safety harness on his seat was "still in a down and locked position when the ride stopped," according to the report, which lists three employees as witnesses.

“Words cannot express the sorrow felt by the tragic loss of such a young man, and my thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this unimaginably difficult time,” Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Nikki Fried said in a statement.

Safety experts and other riders have questioned why the ride did not have a secondary safety belt in addition to the over-the-shoulder harness.

Such a belt is generally a standard part of ride safety in similar attractions and could have been life-saving, Ken Martin, a Virginia-based amusement park safety analyst who works with parks, fairs, government entities, insurance companies and attorneys, told USA TODAY.

A person riding the drop tower can be heard questioning its restraints before it took off in a clip published by WESH 2 News.

ORLANDO FREE FALL ACCIDENT AFTERMATH:Dollywood temporarily closes drop tower ride made by same manufacturer in Orlando incident

The ride is closed indefinitely according to the company which owns and operates it and FDACS, but there have been calls to close the ride permanently FOX35 Orlando reported.

ICON Park released a statement Thursday calling for the SlingShot Group to shut down Orlando FreeFall and another ride, the Orlando SlingShot, "until the attractions are proven to be safe by authorities."

Tyre's cousin, Shay Johnson, has collected pages of signatures on a petition to have the ride closed permanently, FOX35 Orlando reported.

"I would like this ride to be taken down," Johnson said. "My cousin lost his life over this ride. I don't feel it's safe, and feel it should be shut down before someone else's family have to go through what we are going through."

Contact Breaking News Reporter N'dea Yancey-Bragg at nyanceybra@gannett.com or follow her on Twitter @NdeaYanceyBragg