Park, Ride Manufacturer Sued Over Fatal Fall

14-year-old's parents argue negligence in Florida case
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 25, 2022 6:09 PM CDT
Park, Ride Manufacturer Sued Over Fatal Fall
A photo of Tyre Sampson rests at a memorial site outside the Orlando Free Fall drop tower ride at ICON Park in Orlando last month.   (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel via AP)

The parents of Tyre Sampson, who was killed in a fall from a ride in Orlando, have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against ICON Park, the ride's owner and manufacturer, and others. The 14-year-old from St. Louis died last month after falling from the 430-foot Free Fall ride. The suit brought by Nekia Dodd and Yarnell Sampson accuses the defendants, including the construction contractor that built the ride, of negligence, WESH reports. The suit says it seeks damages of more than $30,000, in compliance with state's wrongful death law.

"The defendants in Tyre's case showed negligence in a multitude of ways," said Ben Crump, a lawyer for the teenager's father. Most similar rides elsewhere have a harness and a seat belt, the suit says, while the Free Fall attraction has no seat belt. Adding one would cost $22 per seat, the filing says. An outside investigation found the harness on Tyre Sampson's seat had been improperly adjusted, making it unsafe. "Tyre had a long and prosperous life in front of him that was cut short by this tragic event," the suit says, per NBC News. Representatives for the defendants made no immediate comment. (More amusement parks stories.)

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