After Tyre Sampson’s Fatal Plunge, Orlando’s Icon Park Will Close 400-Foot-Tall FreeFall Ride Attraction


Orlando Slingshot announced its decision to close the 400-foot-tall FreeFall ride attraction at Icon Park due to the fatal plunge that killed 14-year-old Tyre Sampson in March.

According to a statement, a representative of the operator of the Orlando FreeFall revealed that the decision comes after listening to the concerns of the late teen’s family and those of the community. The shutdown process will be in accordance with the “approvals of all involved parties and regulatory entities,” Icon Park informed in the announcement.

“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,” said Ritchie Armstrong. 

While the Orlando community anticipates the closing, Orlando Slingshot wants to commemorate Sampson’s legacy as a student and a budding football player.

“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,” Armstrong continued.

With the help of Sampson’s family, the scholarship will be shared with the public upon further development.

As BLACK ENTERPRISE previously reported, the Missouri teen was visiting the Florida amusement park when he died on March 24. He slipped from the harness that was confirmed to be in a “down and locked position when the ride stopped,” according to a report later released by The Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Additionally, an autopsy report indicated that Sampson was just over 6 feet tall and weighed 383 pounds as a passenger on the FreeFall Drop Tower. But the rides owner’s manual confirmed the weight limit at 287 pounds.

In April, Sampson’s family filed a civil wrongful death lawsuit accusing multiple defendants of negligence, including ICON Park and Funtime Handels GmbH.

“Tyre’s death is a tragedy that we will never forget. As the landlord, ICON Park welcomes and appreciates Orlando Slingshot’s decision to take down the ride,” ICON Park said, per the announcement.

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