Back in March, tragedy struck at Orlando’s Icon Park after 14-year-old Tyre Sampson suffered a fatal fall from the amusement park’s FreeFall ride. Months later, the theme park has announced that the ride will be taken down, per the request of Tyre’s family.
Slingshot CEO Ritchie Armstrong revealed the news in an official statement on ICON Park’s website.
We are devastated by Tyre’s death. We have listened to the wishes of Tyre’s family and the community, and have made the decision to take down the FreeFall.”
Armstrong also revealed that the company plans to create a scholarship in Tyre’s name.
In addition, Orlando Slingshot will honor Tyre and his legacy in the classroom and on the football field by creating a scholarship in his name.”
The statement continued saying,”Details of the scholarship are being developed and further information will be shared in the future after consultation with the family of Tye.” Similarly, details surrounding the timeline for when the ride would be taken down are scare, and reportedly depend on “approvals from all parties involved as well as regulatory entities.”
Tyre’s death is a tragedy that we will never forget. As the landlord, ICON Park welcomes and appreciated Orlando Slingshot’s decision to take down the ride.”
As we previously reported, Tyre Sampson slipped from the restraints of the FreeFall ride on March 24th, and was unfortunately pronounced dead at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children. The incident garnered national attention after video of Tyre’s fall started making its rounds on social media.
Following Tyre’s unfortunate passing, the FreeFall ride and the Orlando Slingshot were shut down. Tyre mother Nekia Dodd has repeatedly asked. that the ride be torn down, saying the ride was a “monument to this preventable tragedy.”
The ride’s mere existence is an insult to the memory of my son and makes each say since he was killed even more impossible for those of us who lived Tyre every day of his life.”
An investigation into accident revealed that sensors on the FreeFall were adjusted to make the ride’s restraints open wider, ultimately making the attraction “unsafe,” according to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The FDAC also found that the ride maximum weight limit was 287 pounds, and Tyre of 380 pounds at the time.
Tyre’s family has also filed a lawsuit against Orlando Slingshot, ICON Park and the ride’s manufacturers.