Orange County

Lawyer for Sampson family demands answers, says video proves teen was not secured in ride

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — The memorial for Tyre Sampson continues to grow larger and so do the calls for accountability.

Sampson’s family, as well as people passing by, having been signing a poster spreading thoughts of love and demanding the free fall ride be shut down.

The family’s lawyer, Bob Hilliard, said this should never have happened.

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


Hilliard is demanding answers for what led up to 14-year-old Tyre Sampson falling to his death in ICON Park.

Hilliard said they have video they are only sharing with law enforcement that proves the ride wasn’t safe.

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

Hilliard and attorney Benjamin Crump will be filing a joint lawsuit against the ride’s parent company, Slingshot.

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

They are suing for negligence and a design theory against the manufacturer.

“How can you design a ride like this? That’s brand-new and state of the art that allows kids to be unbuckled as they ride 400 feet in the air.”

Slingshot told Channel 9 that they are cooperating completely with investigators and claim the ride was fully functional as the time of the accident.

The company also to Channel 9 that daily inspections were taking place.

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

Caleb Danner, a father himself, said whether Slingshot was at fault or not, it should be taken down out of respect for Sampson.

“I was horrified,” Danner said. “In honor of his family and the tragic loss of a young man. Orlando has enough theme parks, enough rides.”

Other don’t agree.

“If you want my honest opinion, they just need to do a better job of seriously reviewing the safety precautions of the ride,” said Aifesuwa Ukor, a tourist from Arizona.

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

Hilliard said they are not stopping until the Sampsons get closure.

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

Hilliard said Sampson’s body is being returned to the family today.

They are planning on having the funeral next week in St. Louis.

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

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