Theme park ride scrapped after teen ‘too heavy’ for seat fell 100ft to his death

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    A theme park ride on which a teenager plummeted to his death is being taken down.

    Tyre Sampson tragically died aged just 14 when visiting Orlando, Florida, US from his native Missouri on spring break on March 24 last year.

    An inquest found that at 27st, Tyre exceeded the ride's weight limit 20st which led to his accidental death aboard the 400ft attraction at ICON Park he was visiting with teammates.

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    The promising American football player was killed as a result of suffering numerous broken bones and internal injuries, according to an autopsy report.

    His mum Nekia Dodd spoke on Wednesday in response to the Orlando FreeFall ride being scrapped for good, describing it as a "bitter sweet moment".

    She said: "The ride is coming down, and I'm thankful for that. But my son's not coming back. My son took his last breath on this ride. So it's hard. It's heartbreaking."

    “It won't happen again, and I'm glad for that," Nekia added. "I'm all over the place with emotions.”

    Sampson weighed seven stone more than the ride's limit of 20st.

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    Engineers hired by the Florida Department of Agriculture explained in a report that sensors on the ride had been adjusted manually to double the size of the opening for restraints on two seats, resulting in the teen not being properly secured.

    The report said there were many other “potential contributions” to the accident.

    Tyre's heartbroken family have reached a settlement with the park's owner after filing a lawsuit in which they accused them, the manufacturer and landlord of the ride, of negligence and failure to provide a safe amusement ride.

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    A new law known as the Tyre Sampson Act is in the works in Florida to prevent smaller attractions operators from making unauthorised adjustments to a ride’s restraint systems.

    Operators will also have to submit more detailed safety and operational documentation to the state.

    The structure is expected to be cordoned off throughout the week until it's fully dismantled.


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