‘Appears to be just a terrible tragedy:’ 14-year-old falls from Orlando ‘Free Fall’ ride, dies

A 14-year-old has died after the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said he fell from a ride at an Orlando amusement park.

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Update 1:30 p.m. EDT March 25: The teen has been identified as Tyre Sampson who was visiting the area with another family from Missouri, Orange County Sheriff John Mina said Friday afternoon, according to WFTV.

Mina said Sampson’s death “appears to be just a terrible tragedy.”

Detectives have spoken to witnesses and employees who were at ICON Park at the time.

Mina said that the ride did have a large locking device for each rider but he was not aware of an additional seat belt, WFTV reported.

NBC News reported that the investigation is still in the early stages and no charges have been filed. Now investigators are trying to figure out how Sampson fell, NBC News reported.

Along with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is also looking into Sampson’s death and to see if the ride’s safety was compromised, NBC News reported.

ICON Park posted a statement to the park’s website saying that “the owner of the attraction is fully cooperating with authorities and that ICON Park is doing everything we can to assist.”

Original report: The teen, who has not been identified, fell Thursday night from the “Free Fall” ride at ICON Park, WFTV reported.

He was taken to an area hospital where he died.

The ride is closed indefinitely and park officials are working with law enforcement to find out what happened.

“This death investigation is in its very early stages,” the sheriff’s office said in a news release, according to CNN.

“Our hearts go out to the family of this young man,” John Stine told WFTV. “Our hearts are broken today.”

Stine is the director of sales and marketing for the Slingshot Group, which owns and operates “Free Fall.” The ride opened on Jan. 5.

Stine said the teen had been secured in a safety harness before falling, NBC News reported.

The ride was built by general contractor Keator Construction, LLC, but was manufactured by Funtime.

It is a 430-foot tall, free-standing drop tower that carries up to 30 riders at a time. Passengers rotate around the tower as they climb. Once it gets to the top, it tilts forward 30 degrees before it free-falls almost 400 feet, WFTV reported. The maximum speed is greater than 75 mph.

ICON Park is home to a variety of amusement rides, Madame Tussauds Orlando and SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium, CNN reported.

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