14-Year-Old Dies After Falling From Ride at Florida Amusement Park, Investigation Launched

The teen fell from the Orlando FreeFall ride late Thursday night. Circumstances surrounding the incident weren't entirely clear by Friday morning.

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A teenager has died after falling from a ride at an amusement park in Orlando, Florida.

The incident took place at ICON Park late Thursday evening, per a local report from Fox 35 Orlando, with witnesses describing the initial confusion at the scene. One park attendee revealed that several people had assumed that a “piece of the ride” had fallen to the ground. When they got closer to the scene, however, witnesses said they could see “a person laying on the ground.”

The teen, later identified by police as 14-year-old Tyre Sampson, was taken to a nearby hospital after falling from the Orlando FreeFall ride at the park. He later died due to injuries sustained in the fall. In a press release from last year, the attraction—which opened in December—was billed as standing at 430 feet in height. According to the park, this stat is claimed to make the Orlando FreeFall “the world’s tallest free-standing drop tower.” The ride is owned and operated by the SlingShot Group of Companies, as is ICON’s Orlando Slingshot.

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When reached for comment by Complex on Friday morning, a spokesperson for the Orange County Sheriff’s Office confirmed an investigation into the incident as being in the “very early stages.” See the rep’s full initial statement below:

“On March 24, 2022 at 11:12 p.m., deputies responded to 8433 International Drive (Orlando Free Fall) for a 911 emergency. Witnesses on scene reported that someone had fallen from the ride. A 14-year-old male was transported to the hospital, where he died from his injuries. This death investigation is in its very early stages. This is all the information we have for release at this time. We will send updates when they become available.”

When reached for comment by Complex on Friday, a rep for the SlingShot group said they were “heartbroken” by the news.

“We extend our condolences and deepest sympathy to his family and friends,” the rep said. “We are working with the Sheriff’s Office and ride officials on a full investigation. The Orlando FreeFall will be closed until further notice.”

An ICON Park spokesperson called the incident a “tragedy” and confirmed that all involved are “fully cooperating” with the ongoing investigation.

“A tragedy occurred last night at the Orlando FreeFall and our hearts are heavy with sadness,” the ICON Park rep said. “The owner of the attraction is fully cooperating with authorities and ICON Park is doing everything we can to assist. The Orlando FreeFall will be closed pending a full investigation. Other businesses at ICON Park are scheduled to be open during their normal business hours.”

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