The State of Florida has released a report of findings from its investigation into the death of a 14-year-old boy at a in March.
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) released a report today that details the findings of an engineering firm hired by the State of Florida in the investigation into the death of , a 14-year-old boy who died after falling from the at Orlando’s on .
The agency is the entity responsible for accident investigations, among its many other responsibilities.
According to the report, written by Quest Engineering & Failure Analysis, the operator of thechanged sensors on specific seats on the manually. The manual adjustments rendered the unsafe.
In the report, the engineering firm states that the manual changes made by the operator allowed the safety harnesses on those seats to open to “almost double” the normal range, according to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner, .
was only 14 years old when he boarded the on , March 24, taking a seat on the with friends. Sampson reportedly weighed approximately 340 pounds, exceeding the ‘s maximum weight.
“These misadjustments [by the operator] allowed the safety lights to illuminate and properly satisfy the ‘s electronic safety mechanisms that allowed the to operate, even though Mr. Sampson was not properly secured in the seat,” Fried said.
The day after the tragic accident, , a spokesman for the , owner of the , talked about how the works, saying the would not be operational if a harness is not locked in properly.
“Our harnesses have to lock in, and they have to lock or else the will not operate, so this is what we are looking into,” Stine explained.
Commissioner held a brief press conference shortly after releasing the engineering firm’s report, but she didn’t take any questions from the press. During the conference, Fried did not say whether the operator would face criminal charges, but she said that the agency was looking into what she called “potential penalties.”
She did not mention whether the operator could potentially face criminal charges in the case but said the agency was looking at “potential penalties.”
Fried said that these findings are part of the initial phase of the investigation, and that the investigation is still ongoing.
further stated that the engineering report names “many other potential contributing factors” in the tragic accident. The commissioner also said that the will remain closed indefinitely.