Teenager Who Fell From Orlando Ride Exceeded Weight Limit

The teenage boy who fell from from a drop tower ride at Orlando's ICON Park on Thursday exceeded the weight limit for the ride, according to its operation manual.

Tyre Sampson, 14, fell from the 430-foot tall ride, at the amusement park in Orlando, Florida.

The Orlando FreeFall ride's operation manual details the safety measures that need to be in place for the ride to be operated. It also highlights the reasons individuals could be denied access to the ride.

"There is no minimum weight except physical size, which may prevent the guest from properly being secured by the seat and restraint. The maximum passenger weight is 130kg (287 lbs)," the manual states, regarding patron restrictions for weight.

Sampson was 6 feet, 5 inches tall and weighed 340 pounds.

Texas attorney, Bob Hilliard, who is representing Sampson's mother, Nekia Dodd, spoke about the family's case in an interview on Saturday, according to a Mail Online report.

"This young man, he was athletic and he was big. He had no way of knowing," Hilliard said.

"This is going to be an issue of lack of supervision and lack of training. A straight-up negligence case."

The manual also highlights other reasons park guests may not be permitted on the ride.

"The passengers must be minimum of 125cm (4. ft 1") for proper fitting of the restraint and seat belts," the manual continues.

"Riders must be in good mental and physical condition, specifically not under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

"Riders must not have any physical problems, such as heart conditions or back injuries, which could be exacerbated by a ride.

"Rider must have the ability to hold an upright sitting position alone. At a minimum, riders must have legs that include the knee. Riders must have arms that extend at a minimum to the elbow and one natural, functioning hand on one of the two arms. Prosthetics may not be worn on the ride."

Following the incident, the ride was closed and an investigation has been launched. ICON Park has also released statements regarding the tragedy.

"Tonight, the ICON Park family is grieving because of the tragedy involving Tyre Sampson. Our heartfelt thoughts are with his family and friends," the park said in a statement on March 25.

"ICON Park is committed to being a place where families can spend quality time together in a safe and fun space.

"We are in close coordination and will continue to cooperate with law enforcement and regulators regarding our tenant, the SlingShot Group."

The amusement park issued another statement on Monday calling for the suspension of another ride as well as Orlando FreeFall until they can be proven to be safe.

"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," the statement read.

"We continue to fully cooperate with the ongoing investigations of the Orlando FreeFall.

"We continue to grieve the passing of Tyre Sampson and our thoughts are with his family and friends. This was the saddest day in the history of ICON Park and we're working hard to make sure this never happens again."

Ritchie Armstrong, CEO of the Slingshot Group, expressed regret at the terrible incident in a statement sent to Newsweek.

"We are heartbroken by the loss of Tyre Sampson and absolutely devastated for his family and loved ones," Armstrong said.

"We have suspended the operations of the Free Fall ride and the Slingshot ride at Icon Park. We are fully cooperating with the authorities at the state and local levels who are investigating this tragic incident," he said. "We plan on providing additional information in the coming days, as we learn more."

Newsweek has contacted ICON Park for comment.

UPDATE 03/30/22, 10:45 a.m. ET: This article was updated with comments from the Slingshot Group.

freefall
Visitors ride on a "free fall" attraction during the 2014 Oktoberfest on September 23, 2014 in Munich, Germany. Tyre Sampson, the 14-year-old boy who fell to his death from a similar ride at Orlando’s ICON Park, exceeded the weight limit for the ride according to its operation manual. Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images