A 14-year-old boy from Missouri died after a late night ride on a 430-foot roller coaster at an amusement park on a busy street in the center of Orlando’s tourist district, officials said Friday. Sheriff’s officers and emergency teams received a call late Thursday at Icon Park on International Drive in the city’s tourist area. The boy fell off the Orlando freefall slide that opened late last year.
Orange County Sheriff John Miner identified the teenager Friday as Tyre Sampson, who was visiting central Florida with the family of a friend in Missouri. Detectives investigating the death will investigate whether it was intentional or accidental, the sheriff said.
“It seemed like a terrible tragedy,” Mina said. “We’ll see what that brings.”
Sampson died after being taken to the hospital, the sheriff said. No further details about the teenager or the incident were immediately released.
Video taken by witnesses showing the fatal fall circulated on social media on Friday morning.
Video on NBC’s Today show Friday morning appeared to show passengers discussing seat restraints on Thursday night. The ride then started their trek up the tower and someone was later seen falling from the ride.
“Yes (he was pinned to the seat). We knew that. So we ran the ride again with all safety precautions and everything in place, that’s why we’re investigating.” Owns the ride John Sting, director of sales for the facility’s Slingshot Group, told CBS Miami.
“We are deeply saddened and shocked by what happened, and our thoughts are with this young man’s family,” Sting said in a separate statement to The Associated Press.
Stine said the free fall chute and the adjacent Sling Shot chute have been closed indefinitely. His company operates both rides at Icon Park.
Dubbed the world’s tallest free-standing pendant, the 430-foot-tall slide is just 11 feet shorter than the SunTrust Building, Orlando’s tallest building.
Attorneys Ben Crump and Bob Hilliard announced Saturday that they will represent the teen’s father and mother, respectively. According to Crump, Sampson was “an excellent student, an aspiring athlete, and a kind person who cared about others.”
“Families have the right to expect these multi-million dollar national theme parks to protect their children and put safety above everything else,” Hilliard wrote in the statement. What unimaginable horror did he experience as he slipped out of his unsafe seat belt and walked helplessly toward his own death?”
The Florida Department of Agriculture, which oversees inspections of all rides except the state’s largest theme parks, has launched an investigation and inspectors were at the scene Friday, spokeswoman Caroline Stonesipper said in an email. Say.
According to the website, the ride, which seats 30 passengers, rises into the air, spins around the tower, then descends to the ground before free-falling at speeds in excess of 120 km/h.
The ride features shoulder straps and two handlebars at chest level that the rider pulls down and automatically releases at the end of the ride.
In 2020, a 21-year-old worker at the same theme park fell to his death during a daily safety check on another ride.