Tourists pay respects for Tyre Sampson, teen who fell to his death from Orlando thrill ride

Nikki Fried leads investigation into Orlando FreeFall attraction at ICON Park

Tourists in Orlando pay tribute to a teen who fell to his death.

ORLANDO, Fla. – It’s been over a week since the death of Tyre Sampson, the 14-year-old who was killed in a fall from an Orlando thrill ride while he was vacationing in Florida.

Tourists from out of state and overseas have stopped by a memorial that was created in front of Orlando FreeFall, the ride at ICON Park where Sampson fell to his death on March 24.

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“You come out here and you’re supposed to have fun with family and now that you see something like this. It’s like, ‘Should we even get on anything? Should we actually do something?’” said Kawan McFarland, who’s visiting Orlando from New Jersey with Irene Nunez.


They decided to pay their respects to Sampson by visiting the memorial.

“I guess with time, the darkness will shine to the light. When it does and somebody will have to, you know, pay the consequences,” McFarland said.

Meanwhile, inspectors continued to look at the ride as Nikki Fried, head of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the state agency in charge of the investigation, held a news conference in Orlando.

ICON Park, which does not own or operate Orlando FreeFall, released a statement after Fried’s remarks.

“We commend the diligence and thoroughness that Commissioner Fried and the team at the Florida Department of Agriculture have shown as they investigate the operation of the Slingshot Group’s Orlando FreeFall ride.

“ICON Park looks forward to working with elected officials, regulators, and the amusement industry to ensure that a tragedy like this never happens again.

“As the landlord at ICON Park, our mission is to provide safe family entertainment. We rely on our tenants to be experts at what they do.

“In the interests of public safety, ICON Park has demanded that the SlingShot Group suspend not only the operation of Orlando FreeFall, but also the operation of Orlando SlingShot.”

About the Author:

Ezzy Castro is a multimedia journalist on News 6's morning team who has a passion for telling the stories of the people in the Central Florida community. Ezzy worked at WFOR CBS4 in South Florida and KBMT in Beaumont, Texas, where she covered Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Being from Miami, Ezzy loves Cuban coffee and croquetas!