CHILLING 911 calls from ICON Park claim staff didn’t properly “secure the seatbelt” before a 14-year-old’s tragic death.
Police identified the young man as Tyre Sampson of Missouri, who was visiting central Florida with a friend’s family.
Tyre Sampson fell to his death while on the Free Fall attraction at ICON Park in Orlando on ThursdayCredit: Facebook
The ride continues to be evaluatedCredit: Splash News for The US Sun
Officials continue to investigate the incidentCredit: Splash News for The US Sun
Footage captured Tyre Sampson moments before the fatal fallCredit: Facebook
Free Fall is billed as the world’s tallest freestanding drop tower, standing at 430 feetCredit: Splash News for The US Sun
Cops received reports of an emergency at ICON Park in Orlando just after 11pm local time on Thursday.
In a harrowing 911 call obtained by The US Sun, a caller can be heard telling Fire Rescue units that the ride’s staff “didn’t secure the seatbelt on him.”
When the 911 dispatcher asks the caller if Tyre was awake, the distraught caller graphically explains how the teen’s “arms and feet are broken.”
“Um, I’m not sure. They’re saying he’s breathing, but he’s not responsive. Looks like his arms are broken and his legs.”
The caller goes on to explain how Tyre was on board the new Orlando Free-Fall ride moments before his tragic death.
“I don’t know from where he fell. They [ICON park staff] didn’t secure the seatbelt on him,” the caller claims.
A chilling video shot before the tragic incident appears to show Tyre’s harness was not buckled correctly.
The teen was seen sitting on the ride with his harness seemingly unbuckled and hanging over his shoulders.
Unlike the other riders sitting next to him, Tyre’s harness doesn’t appear to be pulled down all the way and fastened onto his seat.
A separate footage uploaded online shows the operator talking with riders before they take off into the air.
As the ride starts, the worker yells: “Hey did you take your seat belt on the left side. Seat belt.”
The thrillseekers on board then start rotating up the illuminated column.
The passengers rise hundreds of feet above the ground before plunging at a rapid speed.
The ride, which opened last December, is billed as the world’s tallest freestanding drop tower, standing at 430 feet and can accommodate 30 riders at full capacity.
In a second heart-wrenching 911 call, the caller simply explains how Tyre “was gone.”
“The ride was going, and during the middle of the ride, the guy just came off,” the caller says.
The dispatcher asks the caller if the teen was “awake,” to which the man tragically responds: “No, he’s dead. He’s dead. He’s gone.”
“Tell me exactly why you think he’s, he’s completely gone,” the 911 operator said.
“He’s face down, there’s blood everywhere. He’s not breathing. I’ve checked his pulse, there’s no pulse,” the man replied.
The 911 dispatcher asks the man whether he has access to a defibrillator, but the man said none were available.
“OK, listen carefully. We’re going to try to do CPR on him,” the dispatcher said.
“He’s about 300 pounds. He’s hard to lift,” the man replied.
Sirens can be heard shortly thereafter as first responders arrived on the scene.
Tyre was an aspiring football playerCredit: Facebook
A 911 caller claims the ride’s staff did not ‘secure Tyre’s seatbelt’Credit: Not known, clear with picture desk
Chilling video shot before the tragic incident appears to show Tyre’s harness was not buckled correctlyCredit: Facebook
AUTHORITIES INVESTIGATING TRAGIC DEATH
In a press conference on Friday, Orange County Sheriff John Mina said preliminary information suggests the incident appeared to be an accident.
However, Mina confirmed an investigation is still open to determine the cause of the mishap but reiterated that it “appears to be a tragic situation.”
“It does appear to be just a tragic situation. So, all that is being looked at. Our role in this situation is to determine whether or not this is an accident or intentional act, and this does appear to be a terrible tragedy,” the sheriff said.
Mina also spoke about the gruesome video on social media that shows the young man’s final moments.
Moments before the incident, an operator seemed to have some confusion about whether or not those on board were wearing seatbelts.
“That’s something the Department of Agriculture will certainly look at and obviously we’ll look at that as we make a determination if this was accidental or not,” Mina added.
‘A GENTLE GIANT’
Brandon Gregory, a football coach who appeared to be with Tyre on the tragic night, said the teen was “so happy” to get away from St. Louis for Spring Break.
“Get your rest kid, as a coach you hate that phone call I received last night, Please keep his family and former/current teammates and coaches in prayer #RIPBigTick .
“Was getting away from St Louis to enjoy his spring break he was so happy,” Gregory added.
A woman who appears to be the girlfriend of Tyre’s father asked the public to pray for the family.
“PLEASE PRAY FOR MY HUBBY HE LOST HES ONLY CHILD HES ONLY SON TYRE WAS A VERY RESPECTFUL GENTLE GAINT YOU WILL TRULY BE MISS SON I THANK GOD FOR 15 YRS YOU BEEN IN MY LIFE,” the woman posted on Facebook.
“TELL MY GRAND SON LIL LONNIE WE MISS YALL DOWN HERE MY HEART IS TRULY BROKEN RIP Tyre Sampson YOU ARE LOVED BY MANY AND PLEASE PRAY FOR HES MOM AND ENTIRE FAMILY GONE TO SOON.”
A family member who claims to be the teen’s grandfather said his heart was so heavy, wondering if this was “a dream.”
“My heart is so heavy right my grandson Tyre Sampson just passed away he had just got accepted to East Side High School he had so so so many plans this is unbelievable this gotta be a dream He’s gone my grandson is gone,” the man wrote.
Tyre’s youth football coach, AJ Jones, told News6 that the teenager was a “humble giant” and a straight-A student with dreams of making it to the NFL.
Orange County Sheriff John Mina said preliminary information suggests the incident appeared to be an accidentCredit: Splash News for The US Sun
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