A 14-year-old died from a 430-foot-tall ride at a Florida amusement park after the seat was manually adjusted, according to a forensic report


The Orlando FreeFall ride at ICON Park in Florida.Willie J. Allen Jr./Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

  • Tire Sampson died after falling feet first during a drop ride at ICON Park in Orlando, Florida.

  • He fell through his seat, which the report said had an abnormally large gap between the “horn” and the harness.

  • Manual adjustments were made to the seat and safety sensors, according to the report.

New evidence shows that a A 14-year-old boy died after falling from a 430-foot-tall amusement park at ICON Park in Orlando, Florida, thanks to seat adjustments and safety sensors.

A report ordered by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) after the March death shows that the seat that 14-year-old Tire Sampson fell from has been adjusted to allow for a wider opening of the harness on the highest in the world. standing drop tower.

Each seat of the FreeFall Drop Tower ride has a harness element that goes over the riders shoulders. On the seat there is a “horn” which sits between the legs of the riders.

The gap between the horn and the harness should be three to four inches. But the gap in Seat 1, where Sampson sat, was between six and seven inches.

ICON Park FreeFall ride seats show different gap sizes

Seat 1, in which Tire Sampson sat, had a gap between the horn and the harness measuring between six and seven inches. The rest of the seats, shown right, had an average gap of 3.3 inches.Quest Engineer & Failure Analysis, Inc.

Usually such a large deviation would trigger safety sensors on the ride and prevent the elevator from starting. However, the sensors in Seat 1 had been modified to accept the setting.

This was “presumably to allow for taller riders, which shouldn’t have happened under the manufacturer’s guidelines,” Florida Rep. Geraldine Thompson said, per Mail online.

It is not immediately clear who made the adjustments or when.

A “misadjustment” of the sensor prevented the ride’s electronic safety mechanism from triggering, according to the report, allowing it to proceed even though it was unsafe.

When the merry-go-round was moving, Sampson fell off the carousel feet first. Photos and videos of the crash have gone viral online.

Prior to this report, several questions have been raised as to why Sampson was allowed to take this ride, as he was over the weight limit and therefore rejected to do any further rides in ICON Park. Sampson was 6’5 inches tall and weighed up to 360 pounds, by reports.

Despite the report’s findings, however, there are still unanswered questions.

The report stated that “there are many other potential contributions to the cause of the accident, and this report in no way guarantees the safety of the ride in normal harness positions, adjusted or unadjusted”.

Noting this, FDACS Commissioner Nikki Fried said in a press release that the ride would remain closed indefinitely.

Fried announced the report’s conclusion at a press conference on Monday, saying it “confirms our department’s findings that an Orlando drop tower operator made manual adjustments to the ride, causing the made it dangerous”.

In response to this report, ICON Park issued a statement. He said: “We are deeply troubled that preliminary findings from the state’s investigation, released today, indicate that a sensor on the Orlando FreeFall attraction, which is owned and operated by the SlingShot Group, has been improperly adjusted after the sensor was initially secured in place.”

Read the original article at Initiated


Comments are closed.