An Orlando man who witnessed and recorded the deadly incident on Icon Park's FreeFall tower ride last week spoke to reporters about the accident.
Identified only as Ivan, he was the source of the gruesome video that showed 14-year-old Tyre Sampson's fall from the thrill ride. That very same video circulated widely following Sampson's death, getting to Sampson's father
before official news of his passing.
Ivan told WESH
that he was recording the ride to capture the reactions of his friends, who were riding alongside Sampson.
"This could have been one of my friends that it happened to,” he said. “It’s not what you would expect from a ride in the heart of Orlando. We’re known for our amusement parks, for our thrill rides.”
He said he was "still in shock" and was "heartbroken" to learn that Sampson was just 14. Ivan shared that he posted the video to highlight safety concerns about the ride. He said that one of his friend's questioned the ride's restraint system in a widely shared snippet of the video while the platform was still on the ground.
“The reason why I posted the video is to highlight those safety concerns. I really hope that the company takes a step back and kind of assess the issues and really takes a second look at safety procedures,” he said.
A manual for the ride made by its manufacturer and uncovered by WKMG
clearly states a rider weight limit of 286 pounds and stipulates extra caution around large riders. Sampson was 6-foot-5 and weighed over 300 pounds at the time of his death. Sampson's father has retained prominent Orlando attorney
Ben Crump for upcoming litigation against the park.
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