The world was shaken by terrible news last week, just as we begin approaching amusement park season, following the tragic story of 14-year-old Tyre Sampson falling to his death while riding the “Orlando Free Fall” at ICON Park.
As the investigation into how and why Sampson lost his life continues to get underway, it now appears that famed attorney Ben Crump has been hired to get justice for the 8th grader’s family.
For those that need a quick recap, the Missouri teen was visiting Orlando’s ICON Park last Thursday (March 24) when he decided to ride the 430-foot-high Free Fall ride. With a top speed of 75 MPH, there was little to no chance of survival from the height that he fell from, which was seen clear as day in a video of the incident that’s since gone viral on social media.
According to CBS Miami, the teen’s parents also separately hired Bob Hilliard alongside Crump for representation. “The focus of our investigation is going to be on the training of the staff on the ground who may not have secured Tyre before the ride took off,” Hilliard said, also adding, “The investigation is also going to include the design of the ride itself. There absolutely should be no way a ride can leave the ground if there is any indication that any one of the passengers is not secured.”
More details behind the ride’s design and overall safety below, via CBS Miami:
“The Slingshot Group, which operates the ride, said workers are responsible for checking the lights on the restraint system to ensure they are properly secured.
‘The ride will not ascend unless those harnesses are locked in. There were no indications there was anything different,’ said John Stine, the sales and marketing director for Slingshot Group
Montrey Williams, who was at the park that night, said he was standing in front of the ride the night and noticed the red flags.
‘Nobody walked around to see if everybody was securely, you know, locked in,’ he said.
‘There have to be redundancies, more than a 16-year-old minimum wage kid walking around checking whether or not your harness works,’ said Hilliard.”
Even though this seems to be an isolated situation, the fear of another accident even has other amusement parks taking extra precautions. Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee has temporarily closed its Drop Line attraction that was developed by the same manufacturer as the Orlando Free Fall.
Given Crump’s heavy load of clients lately, including the hundreds of Astroworld tragedy victims, we hope he can make time to get justice for this boy’s tragic and seemingly avoidable death.
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