Boy, 14, falls to death at Florida amusement park ride

The teen fell while riding the “Orlando Free-Fall” ride at ICON Park around 11pm Thursday night

Johanna Chisholm
Friday 25 March 2022 11:23
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A 14-year-old boy has died after authorities in Florida say he fell from a theme park ride in Orlando, WESH 2 News reported.

While riding the “Orlando Free-Fall” ride at ICON Park around 11pm Thursday night, the teen fell to his death, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said.

The teen was rushed to hospital, but later died from injuries, police said. The identity of the teen has not been released.

The drop tower attraction, according to ICON Park's website, stands at 430 ft high, which makes it "the world’s tallest freestanding drop tower." The ride can accommodate 30 riders when loaded to capacity.

Witnesses who saw the boy fall from the ride told Fox News 35 that everyone who watched the incident unfold, including the teen’s parents, were panicked.

“At first we thought it was a piece of the ride or whatever until we got a little closer and it was a person laying on the ground,” Montrey Williams told the news station. “Everyone was just panicking and screaming.”

According to the director of marketing for the ride, which is owned and operated by Slingshot Group of Companies, the Orlando Free-Fall is operated with “all the safety precautions in mind”.

“Everything is in place and this is why we are doing this investigation,” John Stine, the director, told Fox News 35.

Local police have opened an investigation into the incident.

The ride, which opened in December alongside the Orlando Slingshot, are popular attractions for the Florida theme park. The premise for the thrill is that a vehicles encircles a central tower as it creep up the 430 ft drop. Once at the top, riders briefly slant forward and actually face the ground before racing toward it at 75 mph.

This isn’t the first time that ICON Park has experienced a fatal accident in recent years.

A 21-year-old park employee died after falling 200 ft from the Orlando StarFlyer attraction while performing a safety check. The employee was about halfway up the 450 ft tall structure before he fell to his death and struck a platform below the ride. First responders said the man had gone into cardiac arrest when they were called to the scene shortly after 8am on 14 September 2020.

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