Teen Falls to his Death from 430ft Drop Tower, Who is to Blame?

A harrowing 911 call revealed how Orlando’s ICON theme park employees ‘didn’t secure the seatbelt’ of a 14-year-old boy who fell to his death from a 430-foot drop tower this week.

‘They didn’t secure the seatbelt on him,’ an unidentified woman caller told a 911 operator. 

‘They’re saying he’s breathing, but he’s not responsive. Looks like his arms are broken and his legs,’ the person said. 

Tyre Sampson, 14, of St. Louis, Missouri, died after slipping out of his seat on the Free Fall ride at around 11 p.m. on Thursday. The teenager was visiting Central Florida on a football program trip with his friend’s family. 

Tyre’s father, Yarnell, said that his son was 6-foot-5 and 340 pounds, and was told by other rides in the park that he was too large to ride safely, but that the Free Fall ride operators waved him aboard.

Sampson had been worried about the harness prior to the ride beginning, his father said, and told his friends sitting next to him to tell his parents that he loved them.

‘When the ride took off, that’s when he was feeling uncomfortable. He was like ‘this thing is moving,’ you know what I’m saying. And he was like ‘what’s going on?’ Yarnell told WOFL-TV. 

An investigation into the park is now underway. At a press conference on Friday, Orange County Sheriff John Mina said: ‘It appears to be just a terrible tragedy. We will see moving forward what that results in.’

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