14-year-old Tyre Sampson was turned away from two rides before his death – rest in peace

Tyre Sampson, the teenager who fell to his death at an Orlando amusement park last week, was turned away from two rides prior to being accepted on the one that killed him, according to his cousin.

The 14-year-old died after falling from the 430-foot Orlando Free Fall ride at the ICON Park in Orlando, Florida, the world’s tallest free-standing drop tower ride.

An accident report published by CNN claimed that the teenager’s seat was locked. It stated: “Harness was still in a down and locked position when the ride stopped.”

Tributes have been widespread following Sampson’s death, but the question remains as to how it was ever able to come to pass given the necessary safety precautions that are in place.

The 14-year-old’s cousin, Shay Johnson, said that he had called her just before getting on the Free Fall ride. Johnson told how he had said he wanted to ride on the swing, but the 6’5″, 340 lb teen had been turned away because he was too big.

Speaking with Spectrum News, Johnson said of the swing ride: “I said ‘OK. Ride it twice and ride it for me, too’.

“He called me back about seven minutes later. He said ‘They said I’m too big. I can’t ride’.”

She added: “He called me he say, ‘They let me ride. I can ride. I can ride’. I didn’t know it would be my last time talking to him alive. He just wanted to ride and have a good time.”

SlingShot Group, the owners of the Free Fall ride, said its safety features mean it should only operate if all of the riders are safely locked in.

John Stine, spokesperson for the company, told CBS News that it is “very difficult to say” what caused the tragedy.

“The way the ride is designed, with all the safety features and redundancy, there shouldn’t be an issue,” Stine claimed.

Sampson’s father last week revealed that the teenager had sensed something was off when the ride was on its way up.

“He was panicking when he was going up,” he told FOX 35.

“When the ride took off, that’s when he was feeling uncomfortable. He was like, ‘What’s going on?’

“That’s when he started freaking out, and he was explaining to his friend next to him, ‘I don’t know man. If I don’t make it down, please tell my Mom and Daddy I love them.’

“For him to say something like that, he must have felt something.”

He finished: “This should never happen to anyone else’s child ever again, and if I have anything to do with this, it will not happen ever again.”

All of our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Tyre Sampson. Such a terrible tragedy should never have come to pass.

Please, leave a comment if you, too, are shocked by what has happened. Share this article on Facebook to let Sampson’s family know that your thoughts are with them at this terrible time.