In March, tragedy struck at Orlando’s Icon Park after a 14-year-old boy samson tire suffered a fatal fall from the amusement park’s FreeFall ride. Months later, the theme park has announced that they will be removing the attraction at the request of Tire’s family.
Slingshot CEO Ritchie Armstrong revealed the news in a official statement on the ICON Park website.
We are devastated by Tire’s death. We have listened to the wishes of Tire’s family and the community, and have made the decision to end FreeFall.”
Armstrong also revealed that the company plans to create a scholarship in Tire’s name.
Additionally, Orlando Slingshot will honor Tire and his legacy in the classroom and on the football field by creating a scholarship in his name.”
The statement went on to say, “Scholarship details are being developed and more information will be shared in the future after consultation with Tye’s family.” Similarly, details on the timeline of when the ride will be withdrawn are scant and reportedly dependent on “approvals from all parties involved, as well as regulatory entities.”
Tire’s death is a tragedy we will never forget. As owner, ICON Park welcomes and appreciates Orlando Slingshot’s decision to remove the attraction.”
As we previously reported, Tire Sampson slipped from the FreeFall ride’s restraints on March 24 and was sadly pronounced dead at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children. The incident garnered national attention after video of Tire’s fall began to circulate on social media.
Following Tyre’s unfortunate passing, the FreeFall attraction and the Orlando Slingshot were closed. Tire’s mother, Nekia Dodd, has asked repeatedly. had the ride torn down, saying it was a “memorial to this preventable tragedy.”
The mere existence of the trip is an insult to the memory of my son and makes every word since he was killed even more impossible for those of us who lived through Tire every day of his life.”
An investigation into the accident revealed that the FreeFall’s sensors were adjusted to make the ride’s restraints open wider, ultimately making the ride “unsafe,” according to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The FDAC also found the maximum travel weight limit to be 287 pounds and 380 pounds at the time.
Tire’s family also filed a lawsuit against Orlando Slingshot, ICON Park and the ride’s makers.