The mother of 14-year-old Tyre Sampson refused to relive the nightmare at Orlando’s ICON Park so she did something about it.
FOX News reports Nekia Dodd reached an undisclosed settlement with the amusement park and the owner of the Orlando FreeFall ride, the ride where Sampson fell to his death. They’ve also agreed to have the ride dismantled. Dodd’s attorney made the announcement Wednesday.
Dodd’s son made headlines when video footage showed him falling nearly 400 feet from his seat seconds after the ride began. Dodd worked tirelessly to have the ride dismantled, which has been closed since the horrific incident last March.
“My son took his last breath on this ride, so it’s heartbreaking, it’s devastating, it’s a feeling I hope no other parent will ever have to go through after this ride comes down,” Dodd said.
“When he passed, I wasn’t there for him.”
The ride was described as “the world’s tallest freestanding drop tower.”
An investigation conducted by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services found the seats on the ride tilted forward 30 degrees before the gondola was released in a free fall that would reach 4Gs. The ride then broke at approximately 100 feet above the ground.
The seat Sampson sat in had a proximity sensor that “was manually loosened, adjusted, and tightened in order to allow a restraint opening of near 7 inches.
According to CNN, the ride’s weight limit was at 287 pounds, with Tyre weighing at 383 pounds. However, a lawsuit filed by his family claims there wasn’t a weight limit sign or scales at site.
“We are pleased that a settlement has been reached,” Trevor Arnold, the attorney for the ride’s owner, said. “We also continue to support Sen. Geraldine Thompson in her efforts to make the ‘Tyre Sampson bill’ state law.”
The bill would require amusement rides to have permanent additional safety requirements before rides open, on top of providing additional training to operators and added oversight from the state.