Breaking News
More () »

ICON Park calls for 2 rides to temporarily stop running following teen's death

The park says it wants the suspension to stay in place "until the attractions are proven to be safe by authorities."

ORLANDO, Fla. — Editor's Note: The video in the player above is from a previous story.

Orlando's ICON Park is "demanding" the SlingShot Group suspend operations of two rides after a 14-year-old fell from its Orlando FreeFall ride and died.

"ICON Park formally notified the owner of the Orlando FreeFall, the SlingShot Group, demanding suspension not only of the operation of Orlando FreeFall but also the operation of Orlando SlingShot, effective immediately, until the attractions are proven to be safe by authorities," ICON Park wrote in a statement Monday.

The park said the ask was made in the interest of public safety because it relies on the SlingShot Group, as its tenant, "to be experts at what they do."

Park officials say they will continue to cooperate with the ongoing investigation into Tyre Sampson's tragic death on March 24.

The Orange County Sheriff's Office says Sampson was visiting from out of state with a friend's family when he fell from the Orlando FreeFall ride. He would later die at the hospital from his injuries, according to authorities. 

“Our prayers and our thoughts are with the family and we can’t imagine what they’re going through," Sheriff John Mina said during a March 26 press conference.

So far, the sheriff's office says no criminal charges have been filed and that the teen's death appears to have been a tragic accident. Sheriff Mina added that operations with the ride appeared to be "normal" but that the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) is tasked with investigating the ride's safety.

“Words cannot express the sorrow felt by the tragic loss of such a young man, and my thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this unimaginably difficult time,” Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried wrote in a statement.

FDACS is working alongside the sheriff's office to uncover how the tragedy occurred and "precipitate any changes necessary to better protect patrons of amusement rides in Florida."

The Orlando FreeFall ride opened in December 2021 at ICON Park. According to a news release, the thrill ride stands at 430 feet, "making it the world's tallest free-standing drop tower." 

The park says the ride holds 30 riders. The ride rotates around the gigantic tower as it rises to the top. Once riders reach the top, the ride tilts forward 30 degrees and faces the ground for a "brief moment before free falling nearly 400 feet at speeds reaching over 75 mph."

The ride will remain closed as authorities continue to investigate.

"We continue to grieve the passing of Tyre Sampson and our thoughts are with his family and friends. This was the saddest day in the history of ICON Park and we’re working hard to make sure this never happens again," ICON Park wrote in a statement.

Before You Leave, Check This Out