On March 24, tragedy struck at an Orlando amusement park when a 14-year-old boy died after he fell off of a thrill ride. As Mamas Uncut previously reported, the teen was on the Free Fall ride at ICON Park in Orlando, Florida when his harness seemingly malfunctioned and he plummeted to his death.
According to initial reports, the tragic incident occurred around 11 p.m. The teen, now identified as Tyre, was rushed to Arnold Palmer Hospital where he passed away as a result of his injuries.
As NBC Today reports, a video revealed that passengers were concerned with the seat restraints just before the boy fell from the ride. The Today Show warned viewers of the disturbing images before broadcasting. You can watch the video below.
The video captured the teen falling from the ride. According to WESH, Free Fall is the world’s tallest free-standing drop tower, taking its passengers about 430-feet into the air. The ICON Park ride reaches about 75 miles per hour as it drops back to Earth.
Father of the Teen Who Fell of Florida Thrill Ride Speaks Out: He Was ‘Freaking Out’
Now, the teenager’s father is speaking out. While speaking with Fox 35, Tyre’s father, Yarnell Sampson said Tyre was visiting Orlando through a football program.
Yarnell explained that Tyre was on the Free Fall ride with two of his best friends. “He was panicking when he was going up.”
Shockingly, Yarnell said Tyre knew something bad was going to happen. “When the ride took off, that’s when he was feeling uncomfortable. He was like, ‘What’s going on?’ That’s when he started freaking out, and he was explaining to his friend next to him, ‘I don’t know man. If I don’t make it down, please tell my Mom and Daddy I love them.’ For him to say something like that, he must have felt something.”
As Yarnell explained to Fox 35, his son was a big boy. He measured 6-feet, 5-inches tall, and weighed 340 pounds. Many rides wouldn’t even let him on the rides.
“This one particular ride said, ‘We can take you, come on! Get on!’ No one else allowed him to get on the ride, so I’m wondering what happened between now and then that made them say, ‘Come on, get this ride,’” Yarnell continued.
Now Yarnell says he’s going to do whatever he can to make sure nothing like this ever happens again. “This should never happen to anyone else’s child ever again, and if I have anything to do with this, it will not happen ever again.”
Yarnell admitted Tyre loved football and was good at it too. Tyre had dreams of playing in the NFL. “Last season, they had a good football season. Went to nationals. Could have been a recruiting trip – wasn’t sure? It was something in that nature,” Yarnell said of his son. “He was a team player. He was the type of young man that’d take the shirt off his back and give it to you.”
In the above video shared by Today, as the thrill-seekers were moving up the tower, you can hear the ride operators yelling at one of the passengers to check their seatbelt. It’s unclear if they were talking to the teen.
At this time, the ride will remain closed indefinitely. According to the Orlando Sentinel, it only just opened in December 2021. Details into what the initial investigation has found were not yet made known to the public.
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