HomeUS News updateWorkers dismantle Florida ride where Missouri 14-year-old fell to his death

Workers dismantle Florida ride where Missouri 14-year-old fell to his death

Orlando, Fla. — Nearly a year after a Missouri teen died, a 400-foot amusement ride in a central Florida tourism corridor was being dismantled this week.

A giant crane hovers Wednesday next to the giant ride in Orlando’s International Drive tourism district where 14-year-old Tyra Sampson fell in March 2022. A fence surrounded the ride and blocked a nearby sidewalk and parts of the road. The dismantling of the ride is expected to take several days.

Sampson, who lived in the St. Louis area, was visiting Orlando during spring break when he died in the fall.

An autopsy revealed that Tyra Sampson suffered multiple broken bones and internal injuries in the fall, which was ruled an accidental death. It showed that Sampson weighed 383 pounds, well above the Ride Manual’s weight limit of 287 pounds.

A preliminary report from outside engineers hired by Florida’s Department of Agriculture stated that sensors on the ride were manually adjusted to double the size of the opening for the restraints on the two seats, resulting in the teen Could not be saved properly. The report said that there were several other “likely contributors” to the accident.

Tyra Sampson’s family has filed a lawsuit against the ride’s owner, manufacturer and landlord, claiming they were negligent and failed to provide a safe amusement ride.

Legislation is pending in the Florida Legislature aimed at preventing similar accidents. The Tire Sampson Act would prevent Florida’s small attraction operators from making unauthorized adjustments to a ride’s restraint system and require operators to submit more detailed safety and operational documentation to the state.



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