Teen seemed to fall out of the ride mid-dive

A 14 year old Missouri boy who died in a 130-meter fall from a drop tower in Central Florida’s The tourist district seemed to slip out of its seat halfway through, according to a law enforcement report released Tuesday.

The father of a friend of Tire Sampson’s, who witnessed the March 24 accident, told officers that the teen appeared to fall out of his seat as passengers passed a yellow reflective tape halfway up the tower during the Free Fall ride. The drive reaches speeds of 75 miles (75 km), according to an Orange County Sheriff’s Office incident report released via a public registry request.

When the teen hit the ground, he appeared to be breathing but did not respond, Leon Howard told officers.

Tire Sampson, who fell while riding a 130-foot drop-tower in Florida, slipped halfway out of his seat. (AP)

Howard’s son, also named Leon Howard, was friends with Sampson from a travel soccer team and was also in the drive at the time of the accident. Mr Sampson, who was 1.9 meters tall and weighed more than 136 kilograms, had traveled to Orlando for vacation with his friend’s family.

The younger Leon Howard told deputies that at the top of the ride, which is higher than the Statue of Liberty, he became nervous and closed his eyes until the ride stopped.

The incident report said no one touched Mr Sampson on the ground until deputies arrived. According to 911 calls released Tuesday, dispatchers asked witnesses who called in the accident if they could resuscitate Mr. Sampson.

The Orlando Free Fall drop tower at ICON Park in Orland. (AP)

One man told the dispatcher that Mr. Sampson was lying face down, “and he’s about 300 pounds.” The dispatcher began asking if anyone would help him get Sampson on his back, but then emergency services arrived on the scene.

Part of the incident report has been edited. The investigation into Mr. Sampson’s death is ongoing, and the report and 911 calls were released Tuesday as they had been reviewed and redacted for release, the sheriff’s office said in an email.

Homicide investigators took part in the investigation, according to the report.

Mr. Sampson’s parents have sued the attraction’s owner, manufacturer and lessor for negligent and failing to provide a safe attraction. (AP)

An initial report from outside engineers hired by the Florida Department of Agriculture said sensors on the ride had been manually adjusted to double the opening for restraints on two seats, which prevented Sampson from being properly restrained before slipping out and falling onto his back. . dead.

The Department of Agriculture report said there were many other “potential contributors” to the accident and a full review of the ride’s design and operation was needed.

Last week, Mr. Sampson’s parents sued the attraction’s owner, manufacturer and lessor for being negligent and failing to provide a safe amusement ride. The lawsuit said the defendants failed to warn Mr Sampson of the risks of someone his size going on the ride and did not provide an appropriate restraint system.

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“The sheriff’s investigation simply confirms how tragic this accident was that killed Mr Tire,” Michael Haggard, a lawyer for Mr Sampson’s mother, Nekia Dodd, said in an email on Tuesday.

“It was a completely prevented incident that should never have happened, but for the absolute negligence of everyone involved.”

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