Balloon release planned in honor of teen who fell to his death on free-fall ride

ORLANDO, Fla. — A balloon release is planned for Monday evening in honor of a 14-year-old who fell to his death on a free-fall ride in Orlando.


Organizers are planning to release red and black balloons at ICON Park at 6 p.m.

Tyre Sampson died Thursday night after he fell from the Orlando FreeFall at ICON Park.

The ride’s parent company is cooperating with the investigation and said that the ride was fully functional at the time of the accident.

A makeshift memorial at ICON Park to honor Sampson is growing with flowers, balloons and candles.

Photos: Memorial near FreeFall at ICON Park

One of the messages says “Gone too soon. Rest easy.”

An attorney for the family said this should have never happened.

Sampson is being remembered as kind-hearted, an exceptional student and a standout on the football field.

READ: What should happen to the Orlando FreeFall at ICON Park following teen’s death?

It was a tragedy that family attorney Bob Hilliard said could have been avoided.

“I’ve seen a lot of bad conduct by big companies but this is one of the most egregious,” Hilliard said.

Hilliard said the family has shared video with law enforcement, which proves the ride was not safe.

“It shows the light under his seat goes off, which shows he’s not secured,” Hilliard said.

Messages written on the ground call for the ride to be taken down.

READ: Safety expert: ‘I have serious concerns’ about harness in teen’s death on Orlando FreeFall

Hilliard and attorney Ben Crump will be suing the ride’s parent company, Sling Shot Group, for negligence and a design theory against the manufacturer.

Hilliard said he won’t stop fighting until the Sampsons get closure.

“They want answers for themselves and they want to be sure there’s not a Tyre in the future that suffers the same fate,” Hilliard said.

READ: Family of teen killed during free fall ride at ICON Park retains high-profile attorneys

The Sling Shot Group said the ride was fully functional at the time and it is cooperating with investigators to determine what went wrong.

Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, click here to download the WFTV Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.