Florida Senate committee approves attractions safety act named for Tyre Sampson

Sampson died from a fall off the Orlando FreeFall ride last year

ORLANDO, Fla. – A Florida Senate committee approved a bill Monday afternoon to make changes to ride safety rules after the death of a tourist at an Orlando attraction.

Tyre Sampson died almost a year ago after falling from the Orlando FreeFall ride at ICON Park. An investigation into the tragedy found Sampson’s seat wasn’t properly secure because of the 14-year-old’s size, and changes were made to the seat’s sensor that made the ride unsafe, according to a report.

State Sen. Geraldine Thompson, D-Orlando, filed SB 902, also known as the Tyre Sampson Safety Act. The bill would reset safety standards:

  • Requiring regular ride commissioning and certification reporting on any attraction that undergoes major modifications
  • Independent testing by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration
  • Permanent rides operated for the first time in Florida after July 1, 2023, to have a commissioning and certification report on file
  • Permanent rides to apply for an annual permit
  • An annual affidavit certifying that the ride was inspected in person
  • An electronic copy of the manufacturer’s current recommended operating instructions and a display of the ride permit

[TRENDING: Become a News 6 Insider]

The bill would also allow the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which regulates attractions, to conduct unannounced inspections for specified purposes.

Yarnell Sampson, Tyre’s father, is hoping the bill will get results for his family.

“When you’re from out of town and you go to other places to visit, you’re there as a tourist, right?” Sampson said. “And you’re there to have a great time. So having a great time shouldn’t be your death.”

The bill and its companion in the Florida House have several committee stops before it gets before the full Florida Senate for a final vote.

In the meantime, work will soon begin to tear down the Orlando FreeFall attraction.

Get today’s headlines in minutes with Your Florida Daily:

About the Authors:

Christie joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021.

Emily joined WKMG-TV in November 2022.