Incident report includes witness accounts in teen’s fatal fall from Orlando thrill ride

Tyre Sampson died in plunge from Orlando FreeFall at ICON Park

Attorneys for the family of a 14-year-old boy who fatally fell from an Orlando thrill ride last month formally filed a lawsuit against the ride’s operators in Orange County Monday.

ORLANDO, Fla. – A 14-year-old boy who died in a fall from an Orlando thrill ride earlier this year was about halfway down the 430-foot tall ride when he came out of his seat and landed on the ground, according to an incident report released on Tuesday.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office incident report details information from two witnesses who saw Tyre Sampson fall from the Orlando FreeFall tower ride at ICON Park in the tourist district of Orlando.

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Sampson was visiting the Orlando area from his home in Missouri when he got on the Orlando Free Fall, which opened in December and takes up to 30 guests high into the air before dropping about 400 feet at 70-75 mph.

One of the witnesses, a teen who was on the ride when Sampson fell, said an employee wearing a red beanie secured Sampson in his seat, according to the incident report.

The other witness was outside a nearby fence and saw Sampson fall from the ride, the report stated. He said he could see Sampson breathing, but added that the teen was unresponsive, according to the incident report.

First responders performed CPR before Sampson was taken to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, where he was pronounced dead.

Earlier, 911 calls were released.

“The thing (Orlando Free Fall) went down to drop and, like, when they got closer to the bottom, when it hit the brake, the guy fell right out of the seat,” said one caller.

“He’s not responsive,” another caller said after the fall. “It looks like his arms are broken and his legs.”

One of the callers told emergency dispatchers that the teen was not breathing and that he was already dead before help arrived.

“Tell me exactly why you think he’s, he’s completely gone,” the 911 operator said.

“He’s face down, there’s blood everywhere. He’s not breathing. I’ve checked his pulse, there’s no pulse,” the man replied.

Sampson’s parents have filed a lawsuit against against Funtime Thrill Rides, the manufacturer of Orlando FreeFall; Slingshot Group, the owner-operator in Florida; and ICON Park, which leased the space for the ride.

The lawsuit alleges the ride’s operators should have known that riders could be “subject to unreasonably dangerous and foreseeable risks, and that serious injury and death of the occupants in the ride could result.” While most free-fall rides have a shoulder harness and a seatbelt, the Orlando FreeFall ride had only an over-the-shoulder harness. Adding seatbelts to the ride’s 30 seats would have cost $660, the lawsuit said.