Teen Who Fell to His Death from Florida Amusement Park Ride Died of Blunt Force Trauma: Autopsy
Tyre Sampson, the 14-year-old Missouri boy who fell from the FreeFall ride at ICON Park in Orlando in March, reportedly died from blunt force trauma, according to his autopsy report.
The autopsy revealed that Sampson suffered extensive injuries, including a fractured jaw, a broken arm, a broken leg and fractures of a number of ribs, per local outlet WESH2.
The Orange County Medical Examiner ruled Sampson’s manner of death an accident, per FOX35 and ABC News.
PEOPLE has reached out to the Orange County Medical Examiner but did not immediately hear back.
“The report confirms the difficult reality that this was an unnecessary, horrific trauma, that he died from blunt force trauma and the impact and the severity in nature of his injuries is absolutely catastrophic and devastating,” an attorney for Sampson’s family tells PEOPLE.
“The report also confirms that he was 74 inches tall and he weighed 383 pounds — and 383 pounds is 97 pounds higher than what the maximum requirements were for this ride,” they continued. “So if the ride would have implemented their own safety requirements, not allowing anyone more than 286 pounds to ride this dangerous ride, Tyre would’ve never been on the ride, he would be with us here today, he would be attending his 8th grade graduation, which was just a week ago, and that’s not the reality that we live in.”
“Tyre was a sweet, compliant, respectful honor roll student. If anyone in charge had stopped him and told him he could not ride, for whatever reason, weight included, he would have smiled and said ‘OK, no problem,’ ” an attorney representing the teen’s father, Yarnell Sampson, tells PEOPLE in a statement.
“The loss of Tyre Sampson was a tragic accident. We continue to communicate and cooperate with representatives of Tyre’s family, as well as the Department of Agriculture,” Trevor Arnold, GrayRobinson P.A., attorney for Orlando Slingshot, tells PEOPLE. “We are devoted to working with our lawmakers in making lasting safety changes in the amusement park industry.”
Sampson was visiting the park with another family in March when he tragically fell to his death.
A report finalized by Quest Engineering and Failure Analysis “confirmed our department’s finding that the operator of the Orlando drop tower made manual adjustments to the ride, resulting in it being unsafe,” Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Nikki Fried said in a press conference in April.
“The report confirms manual adjustments had been made to the sensor for the seat in question to allow the harness restraint opening to be almost double that of the normal restraint opening range,” Fried continued. “These mis-adjustments allowed the safety lights to illuminate, improperly satisfying the ride’s electronic safety mechanisms, which allowed the ride to operate, even though Mr. Sampson was not properly secured in the seat.”
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