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Workers Dismantle Florida Amusement Ride Where Teen Fell to Death in 2022

Almost a year after a Missouri teen fell to his death, a 400-foot amusement ride was being dismantled this week in central Florida’s tourism corridor.

A gigantic crane hovered Wednesday beside the towering ride in Orlando’s International Drive tourism district where 14-year-old Tyre Sampson fell in March 2022. A fence encircled the ride and blocked off parts of the nearby sidewalk and road. The ride’s dismantling was expected to take several days.

Sampson, who lives in the St. Louis area, was visiting Orlando during spring break when he died from the fall.

An autopsy showed that Tyre Sampson suffered numerous broken bones and internal injuries in the fall, which was ruled an accidental death. It showed Sampson weighed 383 pounds, well above the ride manual’s weight limit of 287 pounds.

Sampson’s family had filed a lawsuit against the owner, manufacturer and landlord of the ride, claiming they were negligent and failed to provide a safe amusement ride. An attorney for the family said Wednesday that they had reached a settlement with the owner but didn’t provide details.

Legislation is pending in the Florida Legislature aimed at preventing similar accidents. The Tyre Sampson Act would prevent Florida’s smaller attractions operators from making unauthorized adjustments to a ride’s restraint systems and require operators to submit more detailed safety and operational documentation to the state.

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