Florida FreeFall teen death: Group calling on amusement park to take down ride, says 'someone is negligent'

Tyre Sampson died on March 24 after falling off of the Orlando FreeFall ride

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A Florida group is calling on an Orlando amusement park to take down the ride where a 14-year-old fell off and died on March 24. 

Tyre Sampson, 14, died after falling off of the Orlando FreeFall at ICON Park on March 24.The ride is 430-feet-tall, according to the attraction. 

The Juneteenth Project Coalition in Florida has created a petition being delivered to local and state officials that calls on the Orlando FreeFall to be "immediately disassembled," and has received over 1,100 signatures.

Tina Wilson, a co-founder of the Juneteenth Project Coalition, told Fox News Digital that the group is calling on ICON Park to take the Orlando FreeFall down, and replace it with a memorial for Tyre. She also said that "someone is negligent" for his death.

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Tyre Sampson (FOX 35 Orlando)

Tyre Sampson (FOX 35 Orlando)

"We do feel as an organization and as a Orange County community that someone is negligent concerning Tyre Sampson's death," Wilson said. "Please, take your structure down replace it with something more kid friendly, something that memorializes him in a brighter light. Because right now, that monstrosity, as it's known now, is not just an eye sore, it's a heart sore."

Wilson has several questions surrounding the incident, but is asking why Sampson was allowed on the Orlando FreeFall in the first place.

"He was told from several employees that on two rides prior to that, that he was too heavy. So why was he allowed on that ride? And what's so upsetting is that while he's suspended in the air on this ride, he felt unsafe and left several messages or a message, of possibly his imminent demise and ‘tell my mom and dad I love them,’ and stuff like that," Wilson said.

Sampson's cousin, Shay Johnson, told Spectrum News 13 at a candlelight on Monday that the teenager was denied entrance from two other rides in the amusement park because of his weight.

The boy's father told FOX 35 Orlando that Tyre was feeling uncomfortable when the ride began.

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Tourists enjoy the rides and amenities at ICON Park in Orlando on Thursday, March 24, 2022. International Drive, long considered a tourist-centered stretch between Orlando's major theme parks, has thrived during the pandemic by rebranding itself as a place for locals to gather too. The Orlando FreeFall ride is the tallest structure in the middle (orange tower) and the Orlando SlingShot ride is the two lower towers behind (purple). A 14-year-old boy died after falling from the Orlando FreeFall ride late Thursday evening. 

Tourists enjoy the rides and amenities at ICON Park in Orlando on Thursday, March 24, 2022. International Drive, long considered a tourist-centered stretch between Orlando's major theme parks, has thrived during the pandemic by rebranding itself as a place for locals to gather too. The Orlando FreeFall ride is the tallest structure in the middle (orange tower) and the Orlando SlingShot ride is the two lower towers behind (purple). A 14-year-old boy died after falling from the Orlando FreeFall ride late Thursday evening.  (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel)

"When the ride took off, that's when he was feeling uncomfortable. He was like, ‘This thing is moving.’ … That's when he started freaking out," Yarnell Sampson, told FOX 35 Orlando. "He was explaining to his friends next to him … ‘If I don’t make it down … please tell my mom and dad I love them.' For him to say something like that, he must've felt something."

"We got a little closer and it was a person laying on the ground," Montrey Williams said. "Everyone was just panicking and screaming."

Wilson said that she wants to see legislation aimed at protecting the people who decide to go on these amusement park rides, and said that more safety measures need to be in place.

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Amusement park visitors were in shock after seeing a teenage boy die after falling off of one of the park's rides.

Amusement park visitors were in shock after seeing a teenage boy die after falling off of one of the park's rides. (Fox 35)

An operating manual for the Orlando FreeFall states that the maximum passenger weight is just over 286 pounds. Sampson was 6 feet, 5 inches tall and weighed 330 pounds, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

"There were no spotters on the ground. There was nothing to alert the personnel that this rider was in trouble," Wilson said. "He had nothing but fear of knowing that he was going to fall," Wilson said.

The Juneteenth Project Coalition will be hosting a protest on Friday at ICON Park, calling on them to take down the ride and for an impartial investigation to take place.