ORLANDO, Fla. — The Florida Department of Agriculture has reached an agreement with the company that owns the Orlando FreeFall ride, according to documents released Friday.
In the settlement, Orlando Eagle Drop Slingshot will not operate the Drop Tower in Florida and will not reapply for a permit to do so in the future.
It will also pay the agency a $250,000 fine.
Tyre Sampson, 14, died March 24 when he fell from the ride.
In the days following Sampson’s death, people demanded to shut the ride down and receive answers as to why this happened.
Photos that were later released showed something was not right with the boy’s seat, and an investigation revealed a safety sensor had been tampered with.
Last November, the state formally blamed the company for what happened and fined them.
Initially, the company fought the fine, but the settlement laid out the conditions.
As for the calls to take down the ride, the settlement said nothing is stopping the company from doing so.
Trevor Arnold, the attorney for Orlando Slingshot, made a statement after the settlement was released, which can be read below:
“We are pleased to have resolved this matter with FDACS without the necessity of a formal hearing. As we publicly stated since October, we have been preparing for taking down the FreeFall ride once FDACS concluded its investigation. The final agreement we reached with FDACS allows us to proceed coordinating a timeline with all involved parties to take down the ride, which we expect will take several weeks.”
Calls for justice have continued in other ways. Sen. Geraldine Thompson is filing a bill that requires spontaneous ride inspections, better documentation of ride modifications and training procedures among other things.
Sampson’s family has filed a lawsuit of their own against the owner and operators of the ride. This settlement does not impact or change that case in any way.
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