The father of a teenage boy who fell to his death during a trip to a theme park said he wanted answers on why his son was admitted to the ride.
14-year-old Tyr Sampson of St. Louis visited ICON Park in Orlando, Florida, as part of an American football program.
He fell out of the Orlando Free Fall ride and was taken to hospital where he died Thursday night.
The teenager sat on the ride with two friends, but began to feel anxious as the ride rose to its highest point.
Speaking a few days after his death, his father Jarnel Sampson told Fox 35 that Tyr “panicked when he rose.”
The teenager died after falling from a tower in Orlando’s ICON PARK
“When the trip started, he felt uncomfortable,” he said.
The teenager began to “get scared” and ask what was going on before telling his friends, “I don’t know, dude, if I don’t have time, please tell Mom and Dad that I loved them.”
Mr Sampson asked why his 6-foot-5-inch son was allowed on the trip, and asked for answers as to why it happened.
He said: “On this particular trip it was written, ‘We can take you, come on, sit down.’ No one else allowed him to sit on the ride, so I wonder what happened between that and the time that made them say, “Come on, sit down.”
“It should never happen to anyone’s child, and if I’m involved, it will never happen again.”
According to his family, Tire was an honors student with a bright future ahead of him and he hoped to play in the NFL.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office said that, according to preliminary investigations, the incident seemed a “terrible tragedy” because before the trip, everything “seemed good and normal.”
Sheriff John Mina said witnesses and officers were interviewed as part of the ongoing investigation.
He said there had been no previous reports of problems with the Orlando Free Fall ride.
The attraction opened in December and is considered “the world’s tallest detached tower.”
The riders climb the tower, lean forward, and then fall freely for most of the way down at 75 miles per hour.
The seats, which inspectors analyzed after the incident, have shoulder straps with two handles at chest level.