Orlando FreeFall removal postponed until Tyre Sampson death investigation closes

click to enlarge Orlando FreeFall removal postponed until Tyre Sampson death investigation closes
Icon Park/Instagram

Although operators of the Orlando FreeFall announced the attraction's permanent closure earlier this month, state officials said that Tyre Sampson's death investigation must conclude before moving forward with the FreeFall's removal.

State officials spoke to WESH 2 about putting the removal on hold until Sampson's death investigation reaches a close. There has been no official timeline released on the dismantling of the FreeFall, as Orlando Slingshot Group has been waiting on approval from all involved parties.

Sampson, a 14-year-old from Missouri, fell from the ride earlier this spring due to a lack of safety restraints to accommodate his weight and height. The tragedy sparked a series of protests, lawsuits and investigations surrounding the incident.

Directly following Sampson's death in March, Icon Park asked for Slingshot Group to suspend operation of both the FreeFall and the SlingShot. As of Oct. 6, Slingshot Group announced the FreeFall's permanent removal.

“We are devastated by Tyre’s death. We have listened to the wishes of Tyre’s family and the community, and have made the decision to take down the FreeFall,” said Ritchie Armstrong, with Orlando Slingshot in a press release. “In addition, Orlando Slingshot will honor Tyre and his legacy in the classroom and on the football field by creating a scholarship in his name.”

Icon Park, serving as a landlord to the independent attractions it houses, has shown support for the decision to remove the Orlando FreeFall.


Since 1990, Orlando Weekly has served as the free, independent voice of Orlando, and we want to keep it that way.

Becoming an Orlando Weekly Supporter for as little as $5 a month allows us to continue offering readers access to our coverage of local news, food, nightlife, events, and culture with no paywalls.

Join today because you love us, too.

Scroll to read more Orlando Area News articles

Join Orlando Weekly Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.