ORLANDO, Fla. (WFLA) – Those close to 14-year-old Tyre Sampson who fell to his death while on a free-fall amusement park ride in Florida at Orlando’s ICON Park on Thursday night are asking why did it happen to him.
NBC affiliate KDSK spoke to Arnaud Jones, who said he recently coached Sampson in football.
“When you got a good kid… a straight-A student never did anything wrong, never got in trouble you question it why him?” Jones said.
According to Jones, Sampson lived in St. Louis County and was scheduled to attend East St. Louis High School in the fall.
Orange County Sheriff John Mina said Samson was visiting the park with his friend’s family.
“We can’t imagine the pain and anguish that his family must be going through,” Mina said. “Our victim advocates have been in contact with the family and helping them through this ordeal.”
John Stine, director of sales and marketing for the Slingshot Group of Companies, the owner and operator of the ride told NBC News the teen was secure in a safety harness before the fall.
“We operate the ride with all the safety precaution in mind,” Stine said.
“Words can’t say how we feel,” he told the network. “Our hearts go out to the family of this young man and that’s all we can say at this time.”
The ride remains closed Friday afternoon.