Father of teen killed on Orlando amusement park ride found out about his death via graphic social media video

‘I want to know what happened to my son. I want to know why my son is in a white bag’

Father of boy killed on ICON Orlando ride speaks out
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The father of the 14-year-old who died after falling from an amusement park ride in Florida found out about his son’s death through a graphic social media video that went viral.

Tyre Sampson, 14, who lived in St Louis, died in a tragic accident at the FreeFall drop tower ride in Florida’s ICON Park on 24 March when the ride dropped, leading to an investigation into the safety measures of the park.

A free fall ride takes riders up and then drops them nearly 400ft at speeds that reach more than 75mph, according to ICON Park’s online description.

The teen had sustained severe injuries and was rushed to the hospital soon after, but was later declared dead.

He was in Orlando with a friend from his football team for spring break when he decided to go to ICON Park.

His father, Yarnell Sampson, has now said he found out about his son’s tragic death through an online video of the accident and is seeking answers from the park.

“I wish I was there to tell him I love him. That I’m sorry. For him to lose his life. So young, and I wish it was me,” a tear-eyed Mr Sampson, father of 14-year-old Tyre, told NBC-affiliated WESH.

The ICON Park freefall rise where an accident killed a 14-year-old boy

“I want to know what happened to my son. I want to know why my son is in a white bag, having to get shipped back home. He walked there. Why he can’t walk back? I want answers from everybody. Who all was involved in that?” he told the outlet.

“It felt like somebody hit me so hard in my stomach. I just lost, I lost, lost wind. And the pain behind it could never be taken away, and sorry’s not gonna take it back and no monies, no nothing in the world to replace the young man,” he further said.

“And it’s just sad, a young man’s bright future was taken away from him over a ride, [in] an amusement park.”

The father said Tyre was a hard-working child who had become a football recruit in the eighth grade.

A memorial was set up in park for Tyre

The family has pushed for a demand to permanently shut down the ride and wants to know how the deadly accident occurred. They have sought the help of prominent Orlando attorney Ben Crump and Texas attorney Bob Hilliard.

His father said Tyre was “6’5 and 340 pounds [154kg]. So, he’s a big guy.” Tyre was considered a talented football player and was weighing his choice of high schools, the Orlando Weekly reported.

Earlier this week it emerged that Tyre had been turned away from two other park rides due to his size. He reportedly weighed more than 50 pounds over the limit for the FreeFall ride.

An incident report filed with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services found that Tyre’s “harness was still in a down and locked position when the ride stopped”.

A small memorial was set up for the teen at ICON Park with people leaving balloons in his memory.

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