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Mother of 14-year-old who died after falling off ride in Orlando reaches settlement in wrongful death suit

The mother of a 14-year-old Missouri boy who died after slipping from a free-fall ride at a Florida amusement park last year has settled a wrongful death lawsuit with the park and the ride’s operator, his attorney announced Wednesday. Has done

Tyra Sampson died on March 24, 2022, after falling from his seat on a 400-foot-tall ride at Icon Park in Orlando, where he was visiting with his football team for spring break.

According to a wrongful death lawsuit filed a month after his death, he fell at least 100 feet from the ride onto hard pavement with no seat belt on.

Sor’s mother, Nekia Dodd, visited the amusement park on Wednesday for the first time since her son’s death to see the giant ride being dismantled.

“Come down today, it’s my first time in Florida. I hate that I had to come down under these circumstances. It’s a bittersweet moment. The ride is coming down, I’m grateful for that, but my son isn’t back It’s coming,” she told reporters.

“My son took his last breath on this ride. It’s heartbreaking, it’s devastating. I hope no parent has to go through this after this ride,” she said, Tire’s sister and with cousin.

Orlando Slightshot announced the Free Fall ride would be taken down last year and began the dismantling process this week.

Her attorney Michael Haggard said during the news conference that a settlement was reached between Dodd, Icon Park and Orlando Eagle Drop Slingshot, which owns the Free Fall ride.

He said that despite the matter being resolved with the Park and Ride operator, the case against the ride builder is continuing.

“The matter is not over. This death trap was created by Funtime, which resides out of Austria, which is not under the jurisdiction of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, except for this court case, which is not under the jurisdiction of the US ” Haggard said, referring to the Austrian company Funtime Handels GmbH, which designed and manufactured the ride, and was also named in the wrongful death lawsuit.

Dodd said she would use the agreement “to keep my son’s legacy alive” and support schools and sports programs.

A spokeswoman for Haggard’s law office said details of the settlement would not be released at this time. NBC News has reached out to Slingshot for further comment on the settlement.

“With the utmost respect for the family, we defer any further questions on this matter to the family,” Ikon Park said in a statement.

The park said it supports the proposed legislation to further strengthen rider protections and said it agrees with the ride owner’s decision to scrap it.

“Our hearts are with the family as they witness this important milestone,” Park said.

Tyre’s death attracted national attention and new scrutiny on amusement park rides and their safety measures.

According to his autopsy, he suffered broken bones and internal injuries in the fall, and his death was ruled accidental. The tire weighed 383 pounds according to the autopsy, well above the ride limit of approximately 285 pounds.

Haggard also cited the Tire Sampson Act in Florida, which seeks to add safety regulations to amusement park rides, which Dodd hopes will ensure that rides longer than 100 feet have seatbelts and harnesses. On Monday, the Florida Senate Agriculture Committee passed the bill unanimously.



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