Orlando FreeFall, ICON Park

UPDATE (April 26) - It has been reported by the Orlando Sentinel that the family of Tyre Sampson have filed a lawsuit against a number of defendants after findings from The Quest Engineering & Failure Analysis report were released, confirming that the ride operator (SlingShot Group) made manual adjustments to the ride making it unsafe (see below). Other key points brought up refer to seatbelts which should have been fitted and the maximum weight for the attraction which was stated at 286 pounds in the operating manual should have been clearly displayed at the ride entrance. Sampson weighed over 350 pounds.

The defendants include The SlingShot Group, ICON Park, Keator Construction and ride manufacturers Funtime Handels GmbH and Gerstlauer Amusement Rides GmbH. 

The police investigation is still ongoing and at the time of writing no criminal charges have been brought forth.

UPDATE (April 19) - Florida Agriculture Commissioner, Nikki Fried has made a statement regarding the ongoing investigation into the incident on the Orlando FreeFall on March 24 at ICON PARK. In order to properly investigate a forensic engineer has been hired. The Quest Engineering & Failure Analysis report which has been released, confirms that the ride operator (SlingShot Group) made manual adjustments to the ride making it unsafe.

The report says, "The cause of the subject accident was that Tyre Sampson was not properly secured in the seat primarily due to mis-adjustment of the harness proximity sensor," "The mis-adjustment of the sensor allowed both safety lights to illuminate, improperly satisfying the ride's electronic safety mechanisms and allowing the ride to commence even though the ride was unsafe."

Orlando Free Fall, ICON Park
Image: Peyton Derrick

Nikki Fried continued to say that there may be other factors which will now be investigated and the how and why needs to be answered along with penalties and potential changes or rules and regulations needed to prevent any other tragic incidents from occuring in the future. While the investigation continues it has been confirmed that the Orlando FreeFall will remain closed indefinitely.

Officials from ICON Park released this statement:

"We are deeply troubled that the preliminary findings of the state's investigation indicate a sensor on the Orlando FreeFall attraction, which is owned and operated by the SlingShot Group, had been mis-adjusted after the sensor was originally secured in place. ICON Park is committed to providing a safe, fun experience for families. We will continue to support the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services with their ongoing investigation."

UPDATE (April 12) - There has been news this week that as the state and police investigations continue after the incident at ICON Park, the family of the 14-year old who tragically died plan to file a "negligence and product liability lawsuit" in the coming weeks. The Orlando Free Fall continues to be closed indefinitely at ICON Park while the investigation continues as does the Orlando SlingShot. In the last few weeks many have called for the Orlando Free Fall to be closed and torn down permanently following this incident. There hasn't been any further information as of yet given by ICON Park regarding the future of the Orlando Free Fall. 

March 25 - Orlando Free Fall at ICON park is closed indefinitely whilst an investigation takes place into the death of a 14-year old boy who fell from the attraction in the evening of March 24.

Orlando Free Fall which is billed as being the world's tallest free-standing drop tower opened in December 2021.

Orlando Free Fall, ICON Park
Image: Theme Park Tourist

No details have so far been given as to how this incident could have taken place and the company that operates the drop tower is working with the authorities to determine what happened.

Our hearts go out to the family and friends of the boy who tragically died. We expect the Orlando Free Fall drop tower to be closed for a considerable time in order for the incident to be properly investigated. 


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