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Nikki Fried files complaint, issues fine for Orlando FreeFall ride involved in boy's death

Teen dies on ride in Orlando
Posted at 2:01 PM, Nov 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-22 18:00:48-05

ORLANDO, Fla. — Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Nikki Fried announced the filing of an administrative complaint on Tuesday against Orlando Eagle Drop Slingshot, LLC, due to the death of a teenage boy earlier this year.

During a press conference with State Senator Geraldine Thompson, Fried shared proposals to increase rider safety for future guests.

She also announced that her office would issue a $250,000 fine —one of the largest administrative fines the department has ever sought— for the death of Tyre Sampson, 14, as well as a bill named after Sampson that would better enforce safety requirements such as maintenance, inspections, employee training and more.

Watch the full press conference below:

Nikki Fried files complaint, issues fine against Orlando Slingshot ride involved in boy's death

On March 24, Tyre Sampson, a teen from Missouri who was visiting Florida with a friend's family, fell from the "Free Fall" ride at ICON Park, an entertainment complex on International Drive.

Sampson was taken to a local hospital after the fall, where he died from his injuries.

The ride stands 430 feet tall and is the world's tallest free-standing drop tower, according to a press release from ICON Park. According to the park, riders fall nearly 400 feet and drops reach speeds of around 75 miles an hour.

In April, Fried announced a report completed by a forensic engineer, Quest Engineering and Failure Analysis, showed that the changes allowed to the harness restraint by the operator were "unsafe" and almost doubled the opening to that of the normal range.

A week after Fried's announcement, Tyre Sampson's parents sued its owner, manufacturer and landlord, claiming they were negligent and failed to provide a safe amusement ride.

In October, the ride's operator said they are taking the ride down after listening to the wishes of Tyre's family. Along with tearing down the ride, the operator said it would be creating a scholarship in Sampson's name.