Operation manual suggests that a teenager who fell from a thrill ride in Orlando may not have been able to ride the ride because they were too heavy.

A 2021 manual from the manufacturer indicates that the teenager who fell from an Orlando thrill ride Thursday night might have been too heavy.

Operation manual suggests that a teenager who fell from a thrill ride in Orlando may not have been able to ride the ride because they were too heavy.

Tyre Sampson was 14 years old, 6' 5" tall, and weighed over 300 lbs. He fell from his seat on the Orlando Free Fall Ride. It is located at Icon Park, along a busy street, in the heart Orlando's tourist district.

Sampson was a middle-school football player from the St. Louis region who dreamed of playing professional ball. WKMG-TV AJ Jones, Sampson's youth football coach, said that Sampson weighed 320 lbs at the time of Sampson's death.

CBS News saw an operations and maintenance manual prepared by Funtime Handels GmbH of Dolsach (Austria) that stated the passenger's maximum weight should be 130 kg or 286 lbs.

The manual states that large guests should be carefully measured to ensure they fit in the seats. Make sure they fit in the seats and that the bracket is properly adjusted. If they don't, do not allow them to ride.

According to an accident report, Sampson "came out from his seat" when the brakes started. However, the harness was still in its down-and-locked position when the ride stopped. CBS News correspondent Manuel Bojorquez reports.

The ride is 430 feet tall and stands 11 feet shorter than Orlando’s tallest building, SunTrust. The ride lifts patrons to this height and tilts them so that they face the ground for a few seconds before plunging toward the ground at speeds up to 75 mph.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Orange County Sheriff's Office are investigating the incident.

FDACS Commissioner Nikki Fried stated that she hoped the findings would be able "to inform us all about how this tragedy occurred" and would prompt any necessary changes to better protect Florida's patrons of amusement parks.

Sampson's family lawyers want to find out if negligence regarding Sampson’s size or other factors played a part.

"This young man was athletic and big. In an interview on Saturday, Bob Hilliard, a Texas lawyer who represents Tyre and Nekia Dodd in Texas, said that he had no idea. This is going to be an issue with a lack in supervision and training. A straight-up negligence case."

CBS News reached out to Funtime Handels GmbH and Icon Park, who operate the ride, for their feedback.

Icon Park stated in an earlier statement that they are fully cooperating with investigators. The Orlando FreeFall ride will also be closed indefinitely.

SlingShot Group stated last week that they were "heartbroken" by the death of one of their guests. We offer our deepest sympathies and condolences to his family.


 

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