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Ben Crump to represent family of 14-year-old killed on Orlando ride

Attorney Bob Hilliard has also been separately retained by the family
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Posted at 3:37 PM, Mar 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-27 15:37:08-04

ORLANDO (WTXL) — The family of the 14-year-old boy who fell to his death on an Orlando amusement ride Thursday night has retained Tallahassee-based injury lawyer Ben Crump and Bob Hilliard.

Tyre Sampson was visiting family in the area when he went to ICON Park and rode the Free Fall ride, which has been described as the world's tallest freestanding drop tower.

The Free Fall lifts riders to the top of a 430-foot tower, tilting them to face the ground as they fall nearly 400 feet at speeds of more than 75 mph, according to ICON Park’s website.

The Orange County Sheriff's Office told media outlets that the teenager fell from the Orlando Free Fall ride at ICON Park. Officials said the teenager was taken to a local hospital after the fall, where he died from his injuries.

In a press conference on Friday, Orange County Sheriff John Mina said the death appeared to be the result of a "terrible tragedy."

"Words can't say how we feel," John Stine, director of sales and marketing for the Slingshot Group of Companies, told NBC News. "Our hearts go out to the family of this young man and that's all we can say at this time."

Officials added that the attraction does include a "large locking device" that straps riders in over their shoulders.

“This family is shocked and heartbroken at the loss of their son. This young man was the kind of son every parent hopes for – an honor roll student, an aspiring athlete, and a kind-hearted person who cared about others. Needless to say, his family is absolutely devastated.," said Crump, who was hired by Sampsons's father. "A fun theme park visit with his football team should not have ended in tragedy. Bob Hilliard and I, on behalf of both parents, Yarnell and Neki, intend to get answers for Tyre’s grieving family and request prayers as they shoulder this unthinkable loss.”

“Families have a right to expect these national theme parks, making millions of dollars, will keep their children safe and will put that safety above all else," said Hilliard, who was hired by Sampson's mother. "Every parent who sees this horrific video can’t help but think the same thing, ‘That could have been my child.’ What unimaginable terror did 14-year-old Tyre experience as he slipped out of his unsecured harness and fell helplessly towards his own death?”