The family of a young teen gathered on Friday to remember him on the one-year anniversary of his tragic death at an Orlando theme park.
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Family members gathered at Orlando’s ICON Park on Friday to honor the memory of 14-year-old Tyre Sampson, who fell to his death while aboard the Orlando FreeFall drop tower ride inside the park. Friday marked one year since his tragic death.
Representatives from local news stations and other media outlets gathered alongside the family, and shortly before he spoke, Tyre Sampson’s father, Yarnell Sampson, broke down in tears as he remembered his young son, who he described as a young football player who also had a 4.0 GPA in school.
Last week, an attorney for Tyre Sampson’s mother, Nekia Dodd, revealed that his client and the owner and operator of the ride, as well as ICON Park, had come to a settlement agreement in a wrongful death suit filed in the case. The suit still stands against the designer and manufacturer of the ride, which the attorney deemed a “death trap.”
Both of Sampson’s parents paid visits to ICON Park during the dismantling and removal of the attraction. Sampson’s father, Yarnell, watched as the final piece of the ride was taken from the park, calling the moment “bittersweet.”
“Hopefully, that ride never ever gets put up again,” he said. “No other country, no other place.”
The family brought blue, orange, and white balloons with them to ICON Park on Friday and tied them to the fence surrounding the former location of the Orlando FreeFall ride.