Important update after a teenager falls 400ft to his death from the world’s highest drop as his owner announces it

The world’s highest fall ride will be permanently dismantled after a 14-year-old boy fell 400ft to his death in a tragic accident, the devastated park owner announced.

Orlando Slingshot officials decided to close Icon Park ride FreeFall after 14-year-old Tire Sampson died of blunt force trauma following the horror fall in March.

Orlando Slingshot officials have announced they will be permanently closing Icon Park ride FreeFall following the tragic death of a teenager

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Orlando Slingshot officials have announced they will be permanently closing Icon Park ride FreeFall following the tragic death of a teenagerCredit: AP
Tire Simpson, 14, fell 400ft to his death in an accident while driving

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Tire Simpson, 14, fell 400ft to his death in an accident while drivingPhoto credit: facebook/torysowavy

The Florida company also announced that it plans to create a scholarship in honor of the Missouri teenager.

“We are devastated by Tire’s death,” Orlando Slingshot official Ritchie Armstrong said, according to the AP.

“We listened to the wishes of Tire’s family and community and made the decision to bring down the FreeFall.”

Tire had been visiting Icon Park in Orlando, Missouri, with friends over spring break. He boarded the freefall ride and was thrown over 400 feet into the air when he fell from his seat.

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The coroner’s office ruled that the teen’s death was an accident, months after his family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Icon Park, the Slingshot Group, its affiliates, the manufacturers and the contractors.

The report confirmed that Tire weighed 383 pounds and was more than 6 feet tall, exceeding the ride’s maximum rider weight of 287 pounds per WESH 2.

An attorney for the ride’s operator, Orlando Slingshot, issued a statement Monday saying Tire’s death was “a tragic accident.”

“The loss of Tire Sampson was a tragic accident. We continue to communicate and cooperate with representatives of the von Tire family and the Department of Agriculture.

We are dedicated to working with our lawmakers to make lasting safety changes in the amusement park industry,” said attorney Trevor Arnold on behalf of Orlando Slingshot.

In April, a Florida Department of Agriculture report indicated that Tire had slipped through the gap between the seat and the seat belt.

The field investigation confirmed that the ride operator made manual adjustments to the ride’s harness, causing it to be unsafe.

“This report confirmed that manual adjustments were made to the sensor [of] the seat in question, which allowed the belt-to-restraint opening to be almost twice the normal opening range of the restraint,” said Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried at the time.

Fried added that the improper adjustments caused the safety lights in Tire’s seat to come on, allowing the ride to continue even though the teen was not adequately secured in his seat.

However, an accident report obtained by CNN indicated that the harness was locked when the descent came to a halt.

It said: “The harness was still in a folded down and locked position when the ride was stopped.”

The Slingshot Group of Companies, which owns the ride, confirmed Tire was in a harness after the tragedy.

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“While this announcement is long overdue, today’s news comes as a relief to Tire Sampson’s grieving father, who has advocated for this since the day Tire fell to his death,” said attorneys for Sampson’s father, Ben Crump and Bob Hilliard.

When exactly the ride will be dismantled is still unclear.

https://www.the-sun.com/news/6399850/worlds-tallest-drop-ride-closes-teenager-dies/ Important update after a teenager falls 400ft to his death from the world’s highest drop as his owner announces it

DevanCole

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