Autopsy: Teen who fell from Florida amusement park ride exceeded weight limit

By Jonna Lorenz

June 14 (UPI) -- An autopsy report released by the Medical Examiner in Orange County, Florida, determined that 14-year-old Tyre Sampson exceeded the weight limit of a ride he fell from in March at ICON Park.

Tyre, of St. Louis, died March 24 of blunt force trauma after falling more than 70 feet from the FreeFall ride at the amusement park, the autopsy report confirmed, ruling the death an accident.


The report, released Monday, confirmed that Tyre weighed 383 pounds, exceeding the ride's 287-pound weight limit by nearly 100 pounds. The report described multiple injuries, including a fractured jaw, broken arm, broken leg and fractured ribs, as well as lacerations and hemorrhaging to Tyre's head, neck and extremities.

"This is just another painful, powerful confirmation of the unnecessary and tragic death that Tyre suffered," Kim Wald, an attorney for the family said, according to WESH-TV. "So this medical examiner's report confirms that Tyre was 97 pounds over the maximum requirement and he never, never should have been able to be on that ride in the first place."

Tyre's family filed a civil wrongful death lawsuit in April against ICON Park; the Slingshot Group, owner and operator of the ride; Funtime Handels GmbH, manufacturer of the ride; Keator Construction, builder of the ride; and others, alleging negligence.


The lawsuit said the ride operator "negligently adjusted" restraint systems on the ride, failed to train employees and failed to post weight and height restrictions.

An investigation found that manual adjustments made to the ride harness led to the teen's death. The adjustments allowed the harness-to-restraint opening to be almost double that of the normal restrain opening range, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Nikki Fried said in April.

The tower ride raises riders 430 feet into the air before dropping them at speeds of up to 75 mph. Magnets slow the ride before bringing it to a stop. Tyre fell from the ride during the slow-down.

"The loss of Tyre Sampson was a tragic accident," Trevor Arnold, an attorney for Orlando Slingshot told WESH-TV. "We continue to communicate and cooperate with representatives of Tyre's family, as well as the Department of Agriculture. We are devoted to working with our lawmakers in making lasting safety changes in the amusement park industry."

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