TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The Orlando FreeFall ride will be torn down following the death of a teenager, it was confirmed Thursday.
The ride is currently housed in ICON Park in Orlando.
Tyre Sampson, 14, died in March after falling from the Free Fall ride about halfway down the 400-foot drop, according to NBC-affiliate WESH.
“We are devastated by Tyre’s death. We have listened to the wishes of Tyre’s family and the community, and have made the decision to take down the FreeFall,” said Ritchie Armstrong, with Orlando Slingshot. “In addition, Orlando Slingshot will honor Tyre and his legacy in the classroom and on the football field by creating a scholarship in his name.’”
The details of the scholarship are being developed and will be shared in the future, after consultation with Sampson’s family.
ICON Park issued the following statement about the removal of the ride:
“The Orlando Slingshot leases land from ICON Park, which supports the decision to take down the ride. Tyre’s death is a tragedy that we will never forget. As the landlord, ICON Park welcomes and appreciates Orlando Slingshot’s decision to take down the ride,” said ICON Park.“
Attorneys for the Sampson family – Ben Crump and Bob Hillard – issued the following statement:
“While this announcement is long overdue, the news today is a relief to Tyre Sampson’s grieving father, who has been advocating for this since the day Tyre fell to his death. The Orlando Free Fall ride never should have been permitted to operate under those faulty conditions. Theme parks, their parent companies, and regulatory agencies must do better to prevent this kind of tragedy from happening to any other family.”