Florida drop tower will be taken down after teenager’s death

Oct 6, 2022, 10:23 AM | Updated: 2:59 pm
FILE - Family and supporters of Tyre Sampson march and hold signs outside the Orlando Free Fall dro...

FILE - Family and supporters of Tyre Sampson march and hold signs outside the Orlando Free Fall drop tower ride at ICON Park in Orlando on March 29, 2022. A towering amusement ride in central Florida's tourism district where Tyre, 14, died when he fell to his death will be taken down because of the accident, the owner said Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel via AP, File)

(Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel via AP, File)

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A towering amusement ride in central Florida’s tourism district where a Missouri teen fell to his death will be taken down because of the accident, the owner said Thursday.

The decision to remove the more than 400-foot (122-meter) ride which opened last December in Orlando’s International Drive district was directly linked to the death of 14-year-old Tyre Sampson last March, the owner, Orlando Slingshot, said in a statement.

Sampson, who lived near St. Louis, Missouri, was visiting Orlando during spring break when he died from the fall. The company also said it planned to create a scholarship in the teenager’s name.

“We are devastated by Tyre’s death. We have listened to the wishes of Tyre’s family and the community, and have made the decision to take down the FreeFall,” said Ritchie Armstrong, an official with Orlando Slingshot.

An autopsy showed that Tyre Sampson suffered numerous broken bones and internal injuries in the fall, which was ruled an accidental death. It showed Sampson weighed 383 pounds (173 kilograms), well above the ride manual’s weight limit of 287 pounds (130 kilograms).

An initial report by outside engineers hired by the Florida Department of Agriculture said sensors on the ride had been adjusted manually to double the size of the opening for restraints on two seats, resulting in the teen not being properly secured. The report said there were many other “potential contributions” to the accident and that a full review of the ride’s design and operations was needed.

Tyre Sampson’s family has filed a lawsuit against the owner, manufacturer and landlord of the ride, claiming they were negligent and failed to provide a safe amusement ride.

“While this announcement is long overdue, the news today is a relief to Tyre Sampson’s grieving father, who has been advocating for this since the day Tyre fell to his death,” Ben Crump and Bob Hilliard, attorneys for Sampson’s father, said in a statement.

No timeline was given for when the ride will be taken down.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Washington County Road Department constructs an emergency dam to intercept an oil spill after a Key...
Associated Press

Federal data: Kansas oil spill biggest in Keystone history

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — An oil spill in a creek in northeastern Kansas this week is the largest for an onshore crude pipeline in more than nine years and by far the biggest in the history of the Keystone pipeline, according to federal data. Canada-based TC Energy on Thursday estimated the spill on the Keystone […]
11 hours ago
Associated Press

Fire out at Iowa plant where explosion injured several

MARENGO, Iowa (AP) — It took nearly all night, but firefighters extinguished a fire that tore through an asphalt shingle recycling plant at Marengo in east-central Iowa. Firefighters worked until 4 a.m. Friday to extinguish the fire, Marengo Police Chief Ben Gray said. The fire broke out following an explosion at the C6-Zero plant shortly […]
11 hours ago
FILE - Ballots from the general election are boxed up at the Maricopa County Recorders Office in Ph...
Associated Press

NOT REAL NEWS: A look at what didn’t happen this week

A roundup of some of the most popular but completely untrue stories and visuals of the week. None of these are legit, even though they were shared widely on social media. The Associated Press checked them out. Here are the facts: ___ All votes counted in Maricopa County, despite online claims CLAIM: Uncounted ballots that […]
11 hours ago
FILE - Greece's Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis holds his cellphone during a parliament session ...
Associated Press

As wiretap claims rattle government, Greece bans spyware

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Lawmakers in Greece on Friday approved legislation banning commercial spyware and reforming rules for legally-sanctioned wiretaps following allegations that senior government officials and journalists had been targeted by shadowy surveillance software. The 156-142 vote in parliament followed two days of debate, during which opposition lawmakers accused the government of attempting to […]
11 hours ago
Associated Press

Lawsuit against doctor who defied Texas abortion law tossed

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Lawyers for a doctor who intentionally defied a Texas abortion law that the lawyers called a “bounty-hunting scheme” say a court has dismissed a test of whether members of the public can sue providers who violate the restrictions for at least $10,000 in damages. Dr. Alan Braid published an opinion piece […]
11 hours ago
Former Sao Paulo Mayor Fernando Haddad listens to Brazil's President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silv...
Associated Press

Brazil’s da Silva announces incoming Cabinet ministers

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — Brazil’s President-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva on Friday unveiled some of the faces that will comprise his incoming administration, including his much-awaited pick for finance minister: former Sao Paulo mayor Fernando Haddad. Haddad’s nomination ends weeks of suspense that have led to stock volatility and ups and downs of the […]
11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
...
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
Florida drop tower will be taken down after teenager’s death