ORLANDO, Fla. (WFLA) — The family of Tyre Sampson pushed for the passing of the Tyre Sampson Act, who died after an incident on the Orlando Free Fall ride at ICON Park last year.
Friday, March 24 marked one year since the teenager died after falling out of the ride, which was owned by the SlingShot Group.
“This year has been totally rough for me, physically, mentally and spiritually,” said Yarnell Sampson, Tyre Sampson’s father.
Tyre’s death sparked outrage over the ride’s safety, particularly after the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services revealed that adjustments were made to Tyre’s seat that made it unsafe.
The ride has since been taken down.
“With the most high blessings it got taken down. God used me as a vessel. I’m just a man. I’m a man. I’m a grieving father,” said Sampson.
Lawyers for Sampson and Tyre Sampson’s mother, Nekia Dodd, reached an undisclosed settlement with Icon Park and Orlando SlingShot, the ride operator.
“We are pleased that a settlement has been reached. We also continue to support Sen. Thompson in her efforts to make the ‘Tyre Sampson bill’ state law,” said Trevor Arnold, GrayRobinson P.A., attorney for Orlando Slingshot.
The Tyre Sampson Act would increase safety regulations for amusement park rides and allow for unannounced safety inspections, among other changes.
Attorney Ben Crump and Sampson both said the law must be passed to create more safety measures.
“I’m praying that with the most high blessings this thing can be passed sooner rather than later. No other child should have to die from an amusement park ride period,” said Sampson.
“We applaud Sen. [Geraldine] Thompson and we think what she has proposed is a step in the right direction and we understand politics, we understand there’s gonna be give and take,” said Ben Crump.
Sampson vowed to testify to lawmakers as many times as it takes to get the bill passed.
After their press conference, Yarnell Sampson tied balloons on the fence around the site of the former Free Fall ride in his son’s memory.