After a recent tragic incident leading to the death of a teenage rider, the Drop Tower amusement ride in central Florida’s tourism district will be taken down because of the accident.
According to an announcement from the owner of ICON Park in Orlando, the Orlando Slingshot- a 122-meter ride that opened last December in Orlando’s International Drive- will now be removed since it has been directly linked to the death of 14-year-old Tyre Sampson last March.
Sampson, who lived near St. Louis, Missouri, was visiting Orlando during spring break when he died from the fall. An autopsy showed that Sampson suffered numerous broken bones and internal injuries in the fall, which was ruled an accidental death. It showed Sampson weighed 383 pounds, well above the ride manual’s weight limit of 287 pounds.
According to experts hired during the investigation by the Florida Department of Agriculture, the 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.
“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. The company also said it planned to create a scholarship in the teen’s name.