ORLANDO, Fla. (WFLA) — Parents and riders across the country are questioning roller coaster and ride safety following the death of Tyre Sampson.
Sampson was killed on March 24 after falling out of his seat on the Orlando FreeFall ride at Icon Park.
According to documents obtained by WFLA, the ride’s operations manual lists the maximum weight for the ride being listed as less than 287 pounds.
“He should have never gotten through the gate to the ride. Because there should have been signage there stopping him,” said Ken Martin, ride safety analyst and consultant told WESH 2 News.
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said the ride was inspected in December and has been open for less than six months. Martin is critical of the state and how it handled the inspection.
“I call that a drive-by inspection,” Martin said. “He didn’t write, you know, that I operated it (the ride) and it did this and it did that, checked all that lap bars for proper configuration. This inspector didn’t write anything down!”
John Stine, director of sales and marketing for the Slingshot Group of Companies, the owner and operator of the ride, says there are several safety checks in place before the ride is ready to launch.
“The ride will not operate if those checks are not greenlighted. Again, everything was functioning properly when the ride started. What we don’t know is what happened after that,” Stine told News Channel 8. “We’re just deeply saddened and shocked by what happened.”
He said the ride had several safety checks to ensure the equipment was functioning properly.
The ride is currently closed as the state is still undergoing an investigation into Sampson’s death.