Teen Who Fell From Orlando Amusement Ride Feared For His Safety Prior To Fatal Fall, Dad Says



The father of the 14-year-old boy who fell to his death from an Orlando amusement park ride has spoken out about his son's final moments.

On Thursday evening, teenager Tyre Sampson passed away after falling from the Orlando Free-Fall ride at ICON Park on Internation Drive.

The 430-foot ride was one of the park's newest attractions, having just opened back in December, and was boasted as "the world’s tallest free-standing drop tower". Per an Instagram post advertising the attraction, the ride tilts guests "30 degrees forward" and drops them "at over 75 mph".

However, at around 11:00PM on March 24, tragedy struck as Tyre fell to his death from the attraction. Authorities say the boy was transported to a nearby hospital, but shortly succumbed to his injuries.


Now, the teenager's father - Yarnell Sampson - has spoken out about his son's final moments.

More on this tragedy in the video below:


In an interview with Fox News 35, the grieving father revealed that Tyre was visiting Orlando from St. Louis through a football program, and had decided to ride the attraction with two of his friends.

But Sampson says that his son voiced his concerns about his safety prior to his death.

"He was panicking when he was going up," the father told Fox News 35. "When the ride took off, that’s when he was feeling uncomfortable. He was like, 'What’s going on?' That’s when he started freaking out, and he was explaining to his friend next to him, 'I don’t know man. If I don’t make it down, please tell my Mom and Daddy I love them.'

"For him to say something like that, he must have felt something," Mr. Sampson said.

"This should never happen to anyone else's child ever again, and if I have anything to do with this, it will not happen ever again," he added.

The father also revealed that his son was "an honor roll student" and had "a bright future". At 6ft 5" tall and 325lbs, he was also a promising young football player.

Speaking to KMOV, the boy's father added that his son was a fighter, adding: "I could not ask for a better son."


The New York Post has reported that the family has now enlisted personal injury attorney Ben Crump - who has also served as the representative for Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Jacob Blake.


Fox News 35 reports that investigators with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services - which inspects amusement park attractions and rides - are investigating the tragedy. Additionally, local police have opened an investigation into the incident.

Per the ICON Park website, the Orlando Free-Fall is owned and operated by the Slingshot Group of Companies.

Our thoughts continue to go out to Tyre's family, friends, and loved ones, as well as all of those affected by this tragedy.




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