An autopsy report confirmed that 14-year-old Tyre Sampson who fell to his death at ICON Park in Orlando, Florida, earlier this year was nearly 100 pounds over the exceeded weight limit of the FreeFall Drop Tower.
On March 24, the Missouri teen was visiting the Florida amusement park when he died after a fatal plunge from the ride described as the world’s tallest freestanding drop tower, BLACK ENTERPRISE previously reported.
The Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services later released a report indicating that Sampson’s “harness was still in a down and locked position when the ride stopped.”
According to CNN, the newly-obtained autopsy report indicated that Sampson was just over 6 feet tall and weighed 383 pounds as a passenger on the FreeFall Drop Tower. But the owner’s manual of the ride confirmed the weight limit at 287 pounds.
“The restraint was definitely not properly secured,” Ken Martin, a Virginia-based private ride safety inspector, told WKMG-TV News 6 Orlando. “I know and have seen pictures of the ride that indicate there are no seat belts on the ride, which would classify as (only) one redundant safety system.”
The Orange County Medical Examiner also discovered that the budding football player died from blunt force trauma, resulting in multiple fractured limbs, ribs, and skull as well as lacerations and hemorrhaging to his head, neck, feet, and stomach. The autopsy report ruled Sampson’s death an accident.
“We know this young man has been reported by his father that he weighed 350 pounds,” Martin continued. “For the sake of discussion, we’re going to assume that when that ride drops at first drop, that there is negative two (G-forces, two times the force of gravity). Those negative two (G-forces) times his weight, 350 pounds, that means that there’s 700 pounds of force that are pushing on his body. And I don’t care how athletic a person is, how strong they are, there’s no way a person who weighs that amount subjected to negative two (G-forces) can hold themselves in the ride.”
In April, BLACK ENTERPRISE reported that the Sampson family filed a civil wrongful death lawsuit accusing multiple defendants of negligence. The suit names ICON Park and Funtime Handels GmbH, the manufacturer of the ride, as those involved in the tragic accident.
“They never weighed him, no sign or anything like that, and then they put him in a manipulated seat without a secondary restraint system. It was an accident waiting to happen,” the family’s attorney, Michael Haggard, said.