The Orlando amusement park ride that a 14-year-old Missouri teen fell to his death from earlier this year will be taken down, the park announced Thursday.
Tyre Sampson plummeted from the “Orlando Free Fall” at ICON Park as it was traveling down its 430-foot descent at a speed of 75 mph on March 24. Tyre, who was staying with a friend’s family during the trip, died after being rushed to a local hospital.
There is no timeline for when the ride will be removed, but the ICON park said it will “be determined by the approvals of all involved parties and regulatory entities.”
“Tyre’s death is a tragedy that we will never forget,” the park said.
An autopsy found that the teen was nearly 100 pounds over the ride’s weight limit of 287 pounds, allowing him to slip out of the safety harness and to the pavement below. The seat was still in the locked position after the ride came to a rest, staffers told authorities.
Tyre suffered internal injuries along with trauma to his head, neck and torso. The ride has been closed since the tragedy.
His family immediately asked the Florida park to dismantle the ride, which opened in December 2021 and claims to be the country’s tallest free-standing drop tower.
“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, who owns the tragic freefall ride.
Armstrong’s company, Orlando Slingshot, will honor the teenager by creating a scholarship in his name, he said.
Details on the scholarship will be released after consultation with Tyre’s family, the statement said, but Armstrong insinuated it would extend to the classroom and the football field, where Tyre was known to spend much of his free time.