Parents sue over son’s fatal fall from amusement ride 2022-04-26 11:21:49

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The parents of a 14-year-old Missouri boy who died from a Florida trip in March have sued the theme park, the tour operator and its manufacturer for negligence, saying there are no seat belts or warnings about height and weight restrictions. .

Nikia Dodd and Yarnell Sampson, parents of teen Tyre Sampson, filed the lawsuit Monday in Circuit Court in Orange County, Florida. It named ICON Park, the manufacturer of Free Fall rides and seat belts, and the ride’s owner and operators among the defendants.

The lawsuit seeks trial by jury.

On March 24, Tyre, a middle school student, went to ICON Park in Orlando, Florida, during spring break, the document says. The suit says that at about 11 p.m., he boarded a free-fall flight, which plunged to the ground from 430 feet at a speed of more than 75 miles per hour.

The ride had an “over the shoulder harness” but no seat belt, she says. The suit says Tire, who was 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighed about 380 pounds, was not notified of any weight or height restrictions by staff, and none has been made public. Ben Crump, one of the attorneys who brought the suit, said in a statement that his weight was “significantly higher than the specified weight listed in the riding manual.”

The suit says that while the landing tower was falling, “Tyre was ejected from her seat and fell at least a hundred feet to his death.” The lawsuit says Tire did not receive adequate emergency medical care after the fall.

“The photographs were of a fourteen-year-old boy, who was an honors student and a football player,” the lawsuit says. “Despite his prowess on the football field, he was known to be a kind-hearted person who cared about others. Tire lived a long and prosperous life before him, cut short by this tragic event.”

The lawsuit says the park failed to train staff to apply safety measures and operate the ride in a way that avoids “anticipated injury and death.” Other allegations include that the park failed to install secondary constraints and that it had no way of ensuring that the constraints were secure.

Bob Hilliard, one of the lawyers representing Tyre’s father, said: “This is a series of blatantly negligent behavior by a whole team of guilty and sophisticated defendants – all willing to sacrifice the most basic of safety measures to secure themselves the largest and fastest possible day of payment.” He said in a statement.

An ICON Park representative could not be reached. Trevor Arnold, attorney for the ride owner, Orlando Slingshot, said in a statement that the company “continues to cooperate fully with the state during its investigations.”

“We reiterate that all protocols, procedures and safety measures provided by the flight manufacturer have been followed,” Mr. Arnold said.

An investigation by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services found that modifications were made to “the seat sensor in question to allow seat belt opening to be twice the normal restraint opening range,” the department’s commissioner, Nikki Fried, said at a news conference last week. She added that this modification allowed the safety mechanism to operate even though no tires were secured in the seat.

Tire was a student at City Garden Montessori School in St. Louis. school leaders He said in a statement last month that he was a “beloved and beloved member of the City Garden family”.

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