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Dad Of Teen Who Died In Amusement Park Ride Fall Shares Story About Learning What Happened On Social Media

Icon Park's Wheel
(Image credit: Icon Park)

Tragedy struck a theme park in Florida's Icon Park, resulting in the death of a guest after falling a great height from an attraction. Now The father of the teenage boy who died in a recent amusement park ride fall has shared his story about learning what happened via a social media video. 

In an interview with WESH 2 , Yarnell Sampson, the father of Tyre Sampson, shared his thoughts on his son’s tragic death. He told the outlet: 

I wish I was there to tell him I love him. That I’m sorry. For him to lose his life. So young, and I wish it was me. I want to know what happened to my son. I want to know why my son is in a white bag, having to get shipped back home. He walked there. Why he can’t walk back? I want answers from everybody. Who all was involved in that?

Yarnell Sampson revealed that he found out about the death of his son Tyre after watching a witness’s video that was making the rounds on social media platforms. The footage in question shows the 14-year old teenager accidentally slipping free of his safety harness and falling to the ground below. Yarnell Sampson told WESH 2 the situation was "like a nightmare" and shared his grief over the loss of Tyre. He said the pain "could never be taken away," no matter what kind of apologies and financial remunerations were offered. 

Yarnell Sampson also lamented the loss of Tyre’s "bright future", calling him a ‘charismatic young man’ and a "people person." The young student was a football star at his St. Louis school, and even his coach A.J. Jones thought he "could have gone to any high school" in the area. Yarnell Sampson was devastated that his son’s future was "taken away from him over a ride." 

Tyre Sampson was hurt when he fell from the Free Fall attraction at Icon Park in Orlando, Florida. Although he was quickly rushed to a local hospital, he later passed away after sustaining several serious injuries. Representatives for Icon Park have alleged that Tyre’s safety harness was properly secured before the ride began, and ride owner John Stine claimed that the attraction should have been completely safe. The theme park released a statement (opens in new tab) expressing their sadness over the horrible accident. 

The Free Fall ride, which was added to the park last year, has been shut down until an investigation can be completed. Tennessee’s Dollywood has since decommissioned a similar drop ride that was constructed by the makers of Free Fall. 

In the wake of Tyre’s death, Yarnell Sampson and other members of his family have hired legal professionals, including lawyers Ben Crump and Bob Hilliard, to represent them in their lawsuit against Icon Park. They’ve called for Free Fall to be permanently closed and are preparing to take their case to court. 

WESH 2 reported that OCSO and the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services are currently investigating the death of Tyre Sampson. As of now, there have been no criminal charges filed against Icon Park. 

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