Orlando FreeFall operator hopes to reopen Slingshot attraction

Tyre Sampson, 14, fatally fell from drop tower ride

World’s tallest slingshot, drop tower now open (ICON Park)

ORLANDO, Fla. – The operator of the Orlando FreeFall attraction, where a 14-year-old boy fell to his death in March, said it hopes to reopen one of its other rides at ICON Park.

Tyre Sampson died on March 24 when he fell from the drop tower attraction at ICON Park in Orlando while visiting from Missouri on spring break. He slipped out of his seat about halfway down the Orlando FreeFall.

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The Slingshot Group operated the Orlando FreeFall and the Orlando Slingshot but after the teen died, owners of ICON Park demanded the company to suspend all ride operations.

Yarnell Sampson was joined by attorney Ben Crump for a news conference Monday where Sampson demanded the thrill ride be torn down. He was also joined by state Rep. Geraldine Thompson, D-Orlando, who plans to introduce the “Tyre Sampson bill” to the Florida Legislature.

“We’re still working on the bill that will be filed the very first day of the next legislative session,” Thompson said. “This bill that will be introduced will take into account the safety records of any company that wants to operate a ride of this nature.”

The Slingshot Group released a statement in response.

A state investigation found the operator of the ride made manual adjustments, resulting in the ride not being safe.

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

The news conference comes days after the boy’s autopsy report revealed he was nearly 100 pounds over the weight limit of the attraction.

About the Author:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined ClickOrlando.com in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.