Orlando FreeFall descends after 14-year-old boy falls to his death

ORLANDO, Fla. – The roller coaster ride in Orlando, where a 14-year-old boy who fell to his death earlier this year is taken down according to the operator of the attraction, according to News 6 in Orlando.

The Slingshot Group released a statement on Thursday about its plans for the more-than-400-foot attraction following the death of Tire Sampson, who was visiting from Missouri on spring break in March.

The Orlando FreeFall attraction at ICON Park has been closed since the boy’s death. Sampson slipped out of his seat about halfway down the Orlando FreeFall.

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The Slingshot Group operates the Orlando FreeFalland the Orlando Slingshot, but after the teenager died Owners of ICON Park challenged the company set the entire driving operation.

ICON Park released a statement in response to the Slingshot Group’s decision, which read in part, “As a landlord, ICON Park welcomes and appreciates Orlando Slingshot’s decision to discontinue driving.”

Rep. Geraldine Thompson planned to introduce the “tire Sampson bill” to the Florida legislature to “accommodate the safety records of any company wishing to operate a ride of this type,” she said during a June press conference.

“The demolition of the Free Fall Ride shows respect for the pain the Sampson family and members of the community continue to endure. The continued presence or operation of the Free Fall Ride would be a constant reminder of the disregard for the health, safety and well-being of Tire Sampson and others who visit our amusement parks. I will introduce legislation that will hopefully prevent this type of tragedy from happening again,” Thompson said in a statement.

For months, the boy’s family has been demanding the demolition of the ride.

Yarnell Sampson, the 14-year-old’s father, spoke at the attraction site in June, urging operators to demolish the ride.

“The goal is to get 25,000 signed petitions to get this ride taken down,” Sampson said along with his attorney, Ben Crump. during the press conference. “What I wish is – I want to have a permanent memorial here for my son, saying he has passed away and his legacy will live on and show due respect to the dead who need it.”

Yarnell Sampson and Tire’s mother filed a lawsuit in April sues several companies, including the Slingshot Group and Funtime Thrill Rides, the manufacturer.

Attorneys Ben Crump and Bob Hilliard released the following statement after the attraction operator announced the ride would be demolished.

An autopsy report revealed the teenager weighed 383 pounds and was just over 6ft tall. According to a manual from the ride’s manufacturer, Funtime Thrill Rides, the Orlando FreeFall’s maximum weight allowance is listed as 130 kilograms or 286 pounds.

An independent forensic engineering firm was hired while investigating the fatal fall of a teenager found that the operator of the roller coaster ride had manually adjusted the sensors in his seat, making the ride unsafe.

The Slingshot Group said the timeline for the ride’s decommissioning will be determined “through the approvals of all parties involved and regulators.”

Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando – All rights reserved.

https://www.local10.com/news/2022/10/06/orlando-freefall-coming-down-after-14-year-old-boy-fell-to-his-death/ Orlando FreeFall descends after 14-year-old boy falls to his death

Sarah Y. Kim

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