The father of 14-year-old Tire Sampson, who died after falling from an Orlando Freefall attraction in March, demanded at a news conference Monday that the ride be permanently stopped and brought down.
During a press conference held at Icon Park by civil rights lawyer Ben Krump, the boy’s father, Yarnell Sampson, described the ride as a “death trap” and claimed that the race was an attempt to remove the officer. Monument at the attraction.
“That’s why I came to the Death Trap wall,” Sampson said, referring to his back wall. “Because you get on that ride again and someone else is going to die. It may not be today, it may be tomorrow, it may be a year from today but I guarantee that if you reopen that ride someone else will die.”
“The goal is to close it for the better,” he said.
Orlando Freefall autopsy says teen dies Blunt force trauma, weighs more than 100 pounds ride limit
Sampson apologized publicly, saying his goal was to get 25,000 to 30,000 signatures on a petition to replace the ride with a statue and a permanent memorial.
He and other speakers lamented that the ride operator, Slingshot Group, had been given a new lease by the theme park to hold a second ride while an investigation into Orlando Freefall’s death was underway.
“I think it’s a cover-up scam. I personally don’t think they want the world to know the truth because – I hate to say that, I don’t want to use the race thing – but believe me because my son is a black teenager, He is being treated like that. And I believe that if he had been a European child, something different would have happened, “said Thorley Sampson. “It simply came to our notice then.
He said of his son, “It is better to respect him than what he is giving.”
A week after the results of the autopsy of 14-year-old Sampson were announced, the father addressed the media in which he died of a blunt force blow and the method of death was determined to be accidental. Medical examiners also noted that the child was obese, weighing 383 pounds at the time of death.
That’s about 100 pounds more than the ride’s weight limit.
“The tire was too big to go on the ride,” Krump said Monday. “The weight limit was 286 pounds, but they did not comply with their own restrictions.”
A preliminary report from outside engineers hired by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Customer Service said the sensors on the ride were manually adjusted to double the size of the opening for two-seat restrictions, resulting in Sampson not being properly secured.
“These companies can’t be allowed to make a profit out of security,” Krump said. “For the slingshot group, for ICON Park executives, you all can’t erase this under the rug just because Tire Sampson’s death doesn’t matter. Because Tire Sampson is important, his life is important, his legacy is important.”
It was not immediately clear who made the manual adjustments.
But Democrat State Representative Geraldine Thompson, who also spoke at the press conference, suggested that this was someone “higher in terms of the chain of command” and not the entry-level teen worker who manages the ride. Change
Big Sampson also called for a ride test for drug operators who are regular young workers.
“They need to test the drugs of some of these operators,” he said. “These little teen operators are going for 30 days of training. How are they responsible for someone’s life? It’s really crazy for me.”
Thompson accused the slingshot group of being “tone-deaf” in removing the monument at the foot of the Orlando Freefall attraction and obtaining a second lease. She said she is working on the Tire Sampson Bill, which will be introduced at the beginning of the next Assembly session, which would require ride operator experience and safety history to be considered in a lease application for a new ride.
Thompson said she aims to remove the Slingshot Group’s new lease.
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“Behind you, there used to be a memorial that people in the community built and put together. This particular operator has removed everything, all the evidence, this is the place where a 14-year-old boy died,” Thompson said. “They don’t want people to know that.”
Thompson said she was not sure the correct mark was posted for the ride’s weight and height limits.