Family asks why Icon Park victim Tyre Sampson was allowed on ride after he was REFUSED entry to others at the same park

TYRE Sampson’s family is asking for answers following the teen’s death at the Orlando Free Fall ride at ICON Park.

An attorney representing the family, Bob Hilliard, says state investigators are working to figure out who was responsible for the tragedy.

“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 Hilliard.

The investigation will also look into the design of the as well, added Hilliard.

Shay Johnson, Tyre’s cousin said she is forming a petition to get the ride taken down. So far, she has received over 500 signatures.

Despite the work she has put to seek justice, Johnson says she is still in denial about Tyre’s passing.

Read More About Tyre Sampson

Boy, 14, dies after falling from 400ft ride in front of horrified witnesses

Chilling 911 calls of horror as boy fell to death say ‘belt wasn’t secured’

“All he wanted to do was play football, had good grades, never got in no trouble,” she said. 

“He just wanted to come to Florida and ride the ride like every other kid do. He just wanted to be a kid."

Dozens of people went to the amusement park to pay respects to the 14-year-old, who slipped through the restraints and fell from the drop tower ride Thursday.

A memorial has been placed in front of the ride with flowers, candles and posters of the teen’s face.

Johnson, who lives in Orlando, said she spoke to Tyre on the day he died. She said Tyre called her, saying he wasn’t allowed on the Star Flyer and SlingShot Attraction at the park due to his weight.

Most read in US News


TikTok star, 15, seen at court to face ‘stalker who filmed himself with gun'


All you need to know about where Alexia Hendricks is now


Car used in Spring Break party shooting which killed teen found


Four killed and three injured after driver crashes into homeless camp at 2am

“He tried the fall ride and they let him [get] on, but I don’t understand. Why would y’all tell him he couldn’t ride those two, but y’all allowed him to get on that one?” she said.

Johnson, along with many members of Tyre’s family, has called the employees and company negligent.

“I want the owner to be at fault for this, I want the workers because they should have did they job,” she said.


Tyre's dad, said his son knew his safety harness was not fitted right. Yarnell Sampson added that Tyre begged friends next to him to tell his parents he loved them.

He told Fox News his son began to panic when the Free Fall ride at Orlando took off on Thursday and knew his restraint bar was moving.

Yarnell added: “That's when he started freaking out. And he was explaining to his friends, next to him, 'I don't know man, if I don't make it down, safely, can you please tell my mamma and daddy that I love them,

“For him to say something like that, he must have felt something.”

Tyre, who was on a football program trip from St. Louis, Missouri, was 6ft 5ins and weighed 340lbs.

Yarnell, like Johnson, said other attractions refused to let him on because he was too big, but Free Fall operators had allowed him to ride.

He added: “This particular ride decided ‘yeah, we can take you, get on,’ when nobody else would allow him to get on the rides.”

It comes after chilling 911 calls from ICON Park claimed staff failed to properly secure the teenager's seatbelt, The US Sun revealed.

A man in a second call said: "The ride was going and during the middle of the ride, the guy just came off."

Asked if Tyre was awake, he responded: "No, he's dead. He's dead. He's gone. He's face down, there's blood everywhere.

"He's not breathing. I've checked his pulse, there's no pulse."

And his harness appears to be buckled incorrectly when he was sitting on the ride with it hanging over his shoulders, video showed.

But the ride came without seatbelts and only had plastic pull-down harnesses which should buckle in between a rider's legs.

A ride worker was seen apparently joking about the seat belts and safety just moments before Tyre fell to his death.

One rider had asked: "Why doesn't this have the little clicky click? Like the seat belt?"

An operator asked: "You talking about a seat belt?"

Another added as the ride began: "Have you checked your seat belt? On the left side. Seat belt?"

A man believed to be Tyre's granddad said his heart was so heavy, adding: "He had so so so many plans. This is unbelievable. This gotta be a dream."

Step-mum Wendy called him a respectful gentle giant, adding he will be truly missed.

Football coach Brandon Gregory, thought to have been with Tyre on the night, wrote: "Get your rest kid. As a coach you hate that phone call I received last night.

"Please keep his family and former/current teammates and coaches in prayer. He was getting away from St Louis to enjoy his Spring break. He was so happy."

Read More Florida Stories

Everything to know about Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill

Everything to know about what happened at ICON Park Florida

Orange County Sheriff John Mina yesterday said it appeared to be a tragic situation, adding: "Our role is to determine whether or not this is an accident or intentional act.

"This does appear to be a terrible tragedy."

    Source: Read Full Article