Teen who fatally fell from Orlando drop tower nearly 100 pounds over limit: autopsy report

Tyre Sampson, 14, fell from Orlando FreeFall attraction

Family of teen who died in fall from Orlando thrill ride to file civil lawsuit in Orange County

ORLANDO, Fla.A 14-year-old boy who fell to his death from an Orlando thrill ride in March was nearly 100 pounds over the weight limit of the attraction, according to an autopsy report released by the Orlando medical examiner’s office Monday.

Tyre Sampson died on March 24 when he fell from the drop tower attraction at ICON Park in Orlando while visiting from Missouri on spring break.

According to News4JAX’s sister station WKMG, autopsy report revealed the teen weighed 383 pounds and was just over 6 feet tall. According to a manual produced by the manufacturer of the ride, Funtime Thrill Rides, the maximum weight allowance for Orlando FreeFall is listed as 130 kilograms, or 286 pounds.

Tyre Sampson, 14, in his uniform for the Bad Boyz youth football team (Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

The medical examiner found the 14-year-old had numerous fractures, including to the face, skull, ribs and legs. He also had lacerations to his face, stomach, arms and feet. The autopsy report shows the boy’s death was ruled an accident and his cause of death was blunt force trauma.

lawsuit filed by the attorneys for Sampson’s family is suing Funtime Thrill Rides, the manufacturer; Slingshot Group, the owner-operator in Florida; and ICON Park, which leased the space.

The lawsuit alleges the ride’s operators should have known that riders could be “subject to unreasonably dangerous and foreseeable risks, and that serious injury and death of the occupants in the ride could result.”

The attorneys for Sampson’s family said legal action was likely after an independent forensic engineering firm hired in the investigation into Sampson’s death found the operator of the thrill ride manually adjusted the sensors in the seat he was in, which made the ride unsafe.

Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Nikki Fried announced Quest Engineering & Failure Analysis’ findings nearly one month after the boy’s death. The firm’s 14-page report determined the ride itself did not have an electrical or mechanical failure but a manual adjustment in the seat he was in allowed the ride to operate even when it was unsafe.

About the Author:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined ClickOrlando.com in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.