Losing a child is the most traumatic and agonising event that any parent should ever have to go through — yet some do. Read this heartbreaking story.
Tyre Sampson, a 14-year-old child from Missouri who was on holiday with a friend’s family, who died Thursday night after falling from an amusement park ride in Orlando.
Tyre died at 11 p.m. after sliding out of his seat on the Orlando Free Fall ride at the ICON park. He was on vacation with his friend’s family, who stood powerless as he plummeted to the earth at 75 mph. Police identified him at a news briefing on Friday.
Tyre was photographed before the ride took off, sitting with his harness unfastened and not pulled down to secure onto his seat. It’s unclear if the harness was properly closed before the vehicle took off, or if the tour operator double-checked to make sure he was safely fastened in.
Tyre and the rest of the group had just been informed that there would be no seatbelts for the journey. The only thing keeping them from ejecting from their seats were the plastic, pull-down straps that are designed to clasp in between the passengers’ legs.
One lady was concerned that there was nothing else to keep them seated as the ride plummeted and inquired whether there was a seatbelt to strap them in. ‘There aren’t any seatbelts,’ said the ride attendant.
The ride then rose into the air for around 10 seconds before plummeting to the ground. To the terror of the other passengers, the child slid out of his seat and landed on the ground.
After they landed, video shows a separate park worker approaching the ride attendant and asking, ‘You didn’t check it!?’ He insisted he did.
A frightening 911 call showed how staff at Orlando’s ICON theme park ‘didn’t buckle the seatbelt’ of a 14-year-old kid who died last week after falling from a 430-foot drop tower.
‘They didn’t tighten his seatbelt,’ an anonymous female 911 caller informed the dispatcher. ‘They claim he’s breathing, but he’s not responding. It appears like his limbs and legs are fractured,’ the witness stated.
Tyre’s injuries were brutally detailed by the 911 caller, who stated that he had ‘blood on his feet’ and that he was unconscious but maybe still alive. She also advised the 911 operator that no one could do CPR on Sampson because they couldn’t transfer him on his back since he was heavy.
Tyre’s father, Yarnell, said his son was 6-foot-5 and 340 pounds, and that other attractions in the park informed him he was too big to ride safely, but the Free Fall ride attendants waved him onboard.
Sampson had been concerned about the harness before the ride began, according to his father, and had urged his pals seated next to him to tell his parents how much he loved them.
When the ride took off, that’s when he started feeling uneasy. Tyre began to worry, according to his father, and shared a terrifying vision with his two best friends, who were sat next to him on the journey.
Workers at the park claim they initially thought his corpse was a piece of the ride that had been detached until they noticed the child laying on the ground. The child was rushed to an emergency clinic but died as a result of his injuries, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.
It’s unclear what the minimum height requirement for the ride is or how he got out of his gear.
The parents have engaged lawyers who are looking for witnesses to the event. Investigators from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office will assess if the occurrence was accidental or purposeful, and based on preliminary findings, “it seems to be an awful misfortune” Orange County Sheriff John Mina said.
Attorneys Ben Crump and Bob Hilliard announced on Saturday that they had been engaged separately by the boy’s parents. The attorneys are requesting that anyone who witnessed anything contact them.
“This family is horrified and grieved by their son’s death,” Crump said.
“Hilliard added that families have a right to expect these national theme parks, producing millions of dollars, to keep their children safe and to prioritise their safety above all else.
Tyre’s family described him as a “gentle giant” on social media. ‘Tyre was a respected gentle giant,’ recalled his stepmother Wendy. ‘You will certainly be missed, son,’ she remarked.
May the boy’s soul rest in peace. Hope no parents go through such a devastating painful loss.