Orlando FreeFall: Crump says teen's death is 'worst tragedy captured on video' other than George Floyd

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One attorney for the family of a teenager who died after falling off of the Orlando FreeFall on March 24 is calling the incident “the worst tragedy captured on video that I’ve ever seen” other than the death of George Floyd.

Tyre Sampson died after falling off of the Orlando FreeFall at ICON Park in Orlando, Florida on March 24. 

Ben Crump, representing Yarnell Sampson, the father of Tyre, and Michael Haggard, who is representing Nekia Dodd, Tyre’s mother, visited ICON Park on Tuesday, according to FOX 35.

“Other than George Floyd’s tragic torture video, I think this is the worst tragedy captured on video that I’ve ever seen,” Crump said.

ORLANDO FREEFALL TRAGEDY: RIDE SAFETY EXPERT SAYS ‘SOMETHING’S GOT TO CHANGE’ WITH AMUSEMENT PARK OVERSIGHT

Tyre Sampson

Tyre Sampson
(FOX 35 Orlando)

Crump is known for his involvement in several high-profile cases, including the deaths of George Floyd, Trayvon Martin, and more.

He added that Tyre’s death was “completely preventable.”

“We are doing a thorough investigation into the tragic killing of this 14-year-old child who should have never been killed. We believe this was completely preventable,” Crump said.

Following the incident, ICON Park, where the SlingShot Group of Companies operate the Orlando FreeFall, demanded that operations are ceased at not only the Orlando FreeFall, but also the Orlando SlingShot.

“ICON Park formally notified the owner of the Orlando FreeFall, the SlingShot Group, demanding suspension not only of the operation of Orlando FreeFall but also the operation of Orlando SlingShot, effective immediately, until the attractions are proven to be safe by authorities,” a statement reads.

FLORIDA FREEFALL TEEN DEATH: RIDE SAFETY EXPERT HARNESS ‘WAS NOT ON CORRECTLY’

The Orlando Free Fall drop tower in ICON Park in Orlando, Florida, is pictured on March 28, 2022. Tyre Sampson, 14, was killed when he fell from the ride last week.

The Orlando Free Fall drop tower in ICON Park in Orlando, Florida, is pictured on March 28, 2022. Tyre Sampson, 14, was killed when he fell from the ride last week.
(Orlando Sentinel via Getty)

The Florida Department of Agriculture issued a “stop operation order” to the operator of the Orlando FreeFall on March 2, stating that the ride is “considered an immediate serious danger to public health, safety, and welfare.”

The order states that the Orlando FreeFall can’t re-open until it passes another inspection “at the direction of the Department.”

A manufacturers operating manual for the Orlando FreeFall specifies that the maximum passenger weight is just over 286 pounds. 

FLORIDA FREEFALL TRAGEDY: AMUSEMENT PARK RIDE AT CENTER OF TEEN’S DEADLY FALL WAS BUILT IN DECEMBER

Amusement park visitors were in shock after seeing a teenage boy die after falling off of one of the park's rides.

Amusement park visitors were in shock after seeing a teenage boy die after falling off of one of the park’s rides.
(Fox 35)

Yarnell Sampson initially told FOX 35 Orlando in an interview that Tyre weighed 340 pounds, but Haggard said on Tuesday that he weighed 360 pounds, exceeding the manual’s maximum weight for the ride.

Yarnell Sampson said during an interview with FOX 35 Orlando that his son could tell something wasn’t right.

“When the ride took off, that’s when he was feeling uncomfortable. He was like, ‘This thing is moving.’ … That’s when he started freaking out,” Yarnell Sampson told FOX 35 Orlando. “He was explaining to his friends next to him … ‘If I don’t make it down … please tell my mom and dad I love them.’ For him to say something like that, he must’ve felt something.” 

An incident report filled out by an employee for the Orlando FreeFall states that Tyre’s harness was still in a locked position when the ride came to a stop.

“FreeFall was coming to [sic] down the tower. When the magnets engaged, the patron came out of the seat,” an employee wrote in the report. “Harness was still in a down and locked position when the ride stopped.”

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Tourists enjoy the rides and amenities at ICON Park in Orlando on Thursday, March 24, 2022. International Drive, long considered a tourist-centered stretch between Orlando's major theme parks, has thrived during the pandemic by rebranding itself as a place for locals to gather too. The Orlando FreeFall ride is pictured in the middle, towering over the restaurant area of the park. A 14-year-old boy died after falling from the Orlando FreeFall ride late Thursday evening.

Tourists enjoy the rides and amenities at ICON Park in Orlando on Thursday, March 24, 2022. International Drive, long considered a tourist-centered stretch between Orlando’s major theme parks, has thrived during the pandemic by rebranding itself as a place for locals to gather too. The Orlando FreeFall ride is pictured in the middle, towering over the restaurant area of the park. A 14-year-old boy died after falling from the Orlando FreeFall ride late Thursday evening.
(Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel)

In a statement to Fox News Digital, Trevor Arnold, an attorney representing the operator of the Orlando FreeFall, said it’s working with state departments in their investigations.

“Orlando Eagle Drop continues to cooperate at every level with all state agencies and departments conducting their respective investigations. Friday’s pledge by Florida lawmakers to effectuate change in our industry is welcome. We are committed to working with those in charge to make a difference, as the safety of the public remains Orlando Eagle Drop’s top priority. On Monday, April 4th, we will have staff from the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services on site. We will continue to provide additional information, as it is appropriate, given our respect for the ongoing investigations,” Arnold said.

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