Orange County

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

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — The family of the 14-year-old who fell to his death from the ICON Park free fall ride has retained high-profile attorneys Ben Crump and Bob Hilliard.

On Saturday, the family of Tyre Sampson was at ICON Park, telling Channel 9 that they were there to check out the ride for themselves.

“Why didn’t they check him on this ride,” said Sampson’s cousin Shay Johnson. “Now my baby’s gone.”


Johnson told Channel 9 that when her cousin arrived in Orlando from Missouri on Wednesday, he couldn’t wait to have some fun at ICON Park.

“He kept saying, ‘I want to ride it.’ He said he wanted to get on the swing, and they told him he was too heavy, so he came to get on this,” Johnson said. “He kept saying he wanted to ride this ride. I kept telling him, I wanted to ride it too, but I had to work.” Sampson’s trip was cut short after he slipped through the harness of the free fall ride on Thursday night.

“It hasn’t even been here a year. It got here in December and a life already been taken on this ride. Why does this ride not have any seat belts on it?” Johnson said.

Read: TIMELINE: 14-year-old boy dies after falling from ICON Park free fall ride

Investigators are still trying to determine what happened.

Previous pictures of riders show some seats did have bags over them, but company spokesperson John Stine said this is unrelated to the accident.

Stine said everything was working as it should that night.

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

The ride spokesperson says employees do conduct inspection reports at the start of each day.

Channel 9 is working to get documents that would determine if there was a history of issues on this ride.

The investigation into the ride is being handled by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Read: Documents shed light on inspections and construction of Orlando free fall ride

As Johnson and her family grieve for the teen, they’re also demanding swift action. “I want them to take it down. Take this ride down,” Johnson added.

Crump and Hilliard, who are representing the Sampsons are asking anyone who was on the ride or saw what happened, to call their office.

The ride is closed until further notice.

Read: Boy, 14, dies after falling from FreeFall ride at ICON Park in Orlando

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.

Comments on this article