A 14-year-old boy from Missouri who fell to his death from a 430-foot (130-meter) tower in a tourist area of central Florida seemed to have slipped out of his seat halfway to his descent, according to a law enforcement report released Tuesday.
The father of a friend of Tyr Sampson, who witnessed the crash on March 24, told lawmakers that the teenager seemed to have fallen out of his seat when passengers who boarded the Free Fall rode past a yellow reflective ribbon halfway down the tower. The trip reaches a speed of 75 miles per hour (120 kilometers), according to a report of an incident by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office published through a request for public documents.
When the teen fell to the ground, he seemed to be breathing but not reacting, MP Leon Howard told lawmakers.
Howard’s son, also named Leon Howard, was friends with Sampson from the football team for travel and was also on a trip at the time of the crash. Sampson, 6 feet 2 inches (1.9 meters) tall and weighing more than 300 pounds (136 pounds), traveled to Orlando with his friend’s family on vacation.
Junior Leon Howard told lawmakers that at the top of the attraction, which is above the Statue of Liberty, he got nervous and closed his eyes until the trip stopped.
A report of the incident said no one touched Sampson on the ground until deputies arrived. According to 911 calls released Tuesday, dispatchers asked witnesses who called in the crash if they could do CPR on Sampson.
One man told the dispatcher that Sampson was face down, “and he weighs about 300 pounds.” The dispatcher started asking him for someone to help him move Sampson to his back, but then deputies arrived at the scene.
Part of the incident report has been edited. An investigation into Sampson’s death is ongoing, and the report and 911 calls were released Tuesday because they were reviewed and edited for release, the sheriff’s office said in an email.
Investigators reportedly participated in the investigation.
An initial report by outside engineers hired by the Florida Department of Agriculture claimed that the sensors on the trip were adjusted manually to double the hole for the two-seat latches, leaving Sampson not properly secured before he got out of bed. . death.
A report from the Ministry of Agriculture states that there were many other “potential contributions” to the accident and a full review of the design and operation of the trip is needed.
Last week, Sampson’s parents sued the owner, manufacturer and landlord of the ride, saying they were careless and failed to provide a safe ride. The lawsuit alleges that defendants did not warn Sampson about the risk of someone his size going on a trip, and that they did not provide an appropriate restraint system.
“The sheriff’s investigation simply confirms how tragic the incident that took Tyre’s life was,” Michael Haggard, a lawyer for Sampson’s mother Neckie Dodd, said Tuesday. “It was an incident that could have been completely prevented, which would never have happened if it had not been for the absolute negligence of all the participants.”
The teenager seemed to have fallen out of the ride halfway down the dive