Back in March, the country was horrified to learn that 14-year-old Tyre Sampson had fallen to his death from a drop ride at an Orlando amusement park called ICON Park. Tyre had been visiting the Park with family, but was too large to fit on most of the rides. However, the ride attendant at the Orlando freefall ride manually adjusted the seat so Tyre could fit. That adjustment proved to be fatal, and Tyre — who exceeded the ride’s weight limit by nearly 100 pounds — slipped through the restraint and fell more than 100 feet to his death.
Just about one month after Tyre’s death, his family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against ICON Park, the company that owned the ride in Florida, Slingshot Group, and the company that manufactured the ride, Funtime Thrill Rides. This past July, ICON Park filed to have the case dismissed, but it appears that the lawsuit will be amended to provide more facts against the Plaintiffs before it can proceed.
On August 17, Sampson’s family should have been celebrating the teen’s 15th birthday. However, the day was spent announcing the Tyre Sampson Law, which is aimed at improving rider safety at amusement parks. Fox35 Orlando shared more:
The lawmaker [State Rep Geraldine Thompson] said her proposal would prevent rides from being modified in the way they were for the ride from which the boy fell.
“The things that happened here were out of the ordinary,” Thompson said. “Seats being adjusted after inspection after a permit – that was out of the ordinary. It was out of the ordinary that the young people who were operating the ride had not been properly trained, that was out of the ordinary. It was out of the ordinary that the signs with regard to height and weight requirements were not posted so that Tyre could make his own decision – that was out of the ordinary.”
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried shared a proposed framework for the bill, which includes not allowing safety sensors to be adjusted beyond maximum manufacturer settings as well as increasing safety signage posting requirements.
The Slingshot Group — the company that owns and operates the Orlando freefall ride — has expressed its support for the Tyre Sampson Law. Should the bill be passed, it would go into effect on July 1, 2023. It would most likely directly impact all amusement parks and theme parks in the state — including the Walt Disney World Resort and the Universal Orlando Resort. is still working to have the torn down.