/  04.25.2022

The family of the Missouri teenager who died last month after he slid off an amusement park ride in Orlando, Florida filed a wrongful death lawsuit today (April 25) accusing the park, ride operator and manufacturer of negligence claiming the ride was “unreasonably dangerous,” according to the family’s attorneys.

Tyre Sampson, 14, died March 24 when he slipped through the gap between the harness and the seat on the Orlando FreeFall ride at ICON Park, according to an accident report that was released last week.

The lawsuit that was filed in the Circuit Court of Orange County on behalf of Sampson’s parents states that the companies failed to warn Sampson of the ride’s height and weight restrictions, failed to properly train their employees, and failed to provide an appropriate restraint system like a second seatbelt, according to USA TODAY.

The accident report states that the sensors on Sampson’s seat were also manually adjusted, which allowed the ride to operate while his seat had a restraint opening almost twice as large as normal. Being that this modification was not safe, it allowed Sampson to fall.

“The defendants in Tyre’s case showed negligence in a multitude of ways,” Attorney Ben Crump said in a statement. “From the ride and seat manufacturers and the installer to the owners and operators, the defendants had more than enough chances to enact safeguards, such as seatbelts, that could have prevented Tyre’s death. They didn’t, and their poor decisions resulted in deadly consequences for a promising young man and lifelong pain for his family.”

The FreeFall ride was opened in the center of Orlando’s Entertainment District late last year and was named the world’s tallest free-standing drop tower. On the ride, 30 passengers rise to the top, tilt forward and plunge nearly 400 feet at speeds reaching more than 75 mph, according to a January news release from the park.

The family is seeking an unspecified amount of more than $30,000 in damages, including reimbursement for Sampson’s medical care and funeral arrangements as well as attorney fees.



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