Workers install fence around Orlando FreeFall as teen’s memorial at attraction grows

Onlookers added to 14-year-old’s memorial, watched as engineers investigated ride

ORLANDO, Fla. – News 6 watched for hours Tuesday as workers showed up at the Orlando Free Fall attraction where 14-year-old Tyre Sampson died last Thursday. They put up a fence and black covering around the base of the ride.

We also watched workers use a drone to search around the ride, in addition to measuring and taking pictures of the seats.

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Many of the workers wore shirts that say Explico Engineering. A website featuring the same logo lists Explico as experienced experts who use technology to investigate complex problems associated with accidents and failures.

Click here to learn more.

This all happened as strangers showed up, adding to Sampson’s growing memorial and writing powerful messages of support.

Lisa Mcelwain, of Michigan, watched alongside her grandchildren as workers used measuring tape and took pictures of the seats.

“It’s just emotional to see something like this because it could have been one of my family members,” McElwain said. “I don’t know the boy or the family but my heart breaks for them.”

Another onlooker, Charles O’Berry, agreed.

“My heart just broke, broke all over again like I said because my son will be 14. He plays football, he plays sports,” O’Berry said.

This comes as Democratic Florida Senator Randolph Bracy sent a letter Tuesday to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which regulates, investigates, and inspects rides, calling for this ride to be shut down permanently and more training and safety measures for amusement park operators.

“For a kid to die in that manner on a ride where he was just trying to enjoy himself, it’s deeply saddening,” Bracy said.

News 6 reached out to the FDACS for a response to that letter and haven’t yet heard back.

The ride is closed indefinitely as state inspectors continue to investigate what went wrong the night Sampson fell to his death.

Meanwhile, Orange County Commissioner Victoria Siplin, who covers the district along International Drive, said she’s calling for a thorough investigation, telling News 6, “My heart and prayers go out to the family involved. This was a tragic accident that should not have happened. Hopefully the family can get some answers.”


About the Author:

Jerry Askin is an Atlanta native who came to News 6 in March 2018 with an extensive background in breaking news.