Investigators Say Florida Ride Was ‘Unsafe’ Due to Manual Adjustments Prior to Teen’s Fatal Fall

A newly released investigative report offers more insight into what happened when a 14-year-old fell from the ride at an amusement park in Orlando.

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A newly released field report on a teen’s fatal fall from a Florida amusement park ride shows the attraction had been rendered “unsafe” due to manual adjustments, investigators said this week.

Per a report from CBS News, Quest Engineering and Failure Analysis had been enlisted by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to help with the investigation into the deadly accident at Icon Park. The subsequent report has now been finalized by the forensic engineer and notably places an emphasis on the Orlando FreeFall ride’s safety lights.

In a statement, Nikki Fried—Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services—said the latest report offers answers as to what “mechanically took place” on the ride. Per Fried, the investigation will now move into a new phase of focusing on the “how and why” while considering possible penalties, and more.

“While the initial phase of our investigation is complete, we are far from done uncovering all of the facts and factors at play that are needed to inform next steps,” Fried, who noted the ride will remain closed “indefinitely,” said. “As soon as the full investigation is complete, we will immediately make changes to our rules if needed under our existing authorities as well as pursue statutory changes with our legislative partners if necessary to help prevent future tragedies.”

In short, Fried explained at a press conference on Monday, the report has confirmed the department’s findings indicating that the operator of the ride had made “manual adjustments” which resulted in it being “unsafe.” More specifically, adjustments are said to have been made to the sensor for the seat in question, allowing for the harness restraint opening to be “almost double” what was considered normal. These adjustments triggered the illumination of safety lights, despite the victim—14-year-old Tyre Sampson—not having been “properly secured.”

The full report has been made available for the public and can be found here.

Complex has reached out to a rep for the Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services for additional comment. This story may be updated.

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