Orange County Mayor responds to requests to have Free Fall ride removed following teen’s death

ORLANDO, Fla. — The demands for the Orlando Free Fall attraction to be torn down are growing louder by the day.


It’s been nearly a week since 14-year-old Tyre Sampson slipped off the International Drive ride and fell to his death.

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There are now several petitions circulating asking for the ride to be removed.

Sampson’s family has been asking for the ride to be taken down for days, reaching more than 5,000 signatures on their own petition.

There are several other petitions on change.org with anywhere from hundreds to thousands of signatures  each.

Slingshot, the company that owns the ride, won’t say whether or not they’ll take it down.

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings says he sincerely believes Slingshot is remorseful about what happened.

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“No one would have wanted that tragedy to occur,” Demings said. “They’ve said to me that they’re committed to not open up the rides until they believe it can never happen again.”

The company erected a tarped fence around the ride Tuesday, as investigators continue looking into exactly how the death occurred.

A makeshift memorial with pictures, candles, and footballs sits in front of the ride, along with demands to remove the ride.

Documents show everything was working as it should. The sheriff’s office and Department Of Agriculture still haven’t finalized a cause of the fall.

Commissioner Nikkie Fried’s office says it won’t comment on whether it should get taken down or not until the investigation is completed.

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“I’ve gone on the record and said that my desire is that whatever is done ultimately should assure everyone that that type of tragedy can never ever happen again,” Mayor Demings said.

Slingshot officials have declined to comment on the ride, but did offer a statement from their CEO saying he’s “heartbroken” for Sampson’s family and will cooperate with all investigations.

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