Miami – The 14-year-old teenager who died last March when he was thrown from a free fall tower at an Orlando amusement park in central Florida weighed almost 100 pounds over the weight allowed to access, the autopsy revealed. .
Tire Sampson, a native of Missouri, died after falling into the void on March 25 from the Orlando Free Fall attraction, a tower about 430 feet high with a free fall of more than 75 miles per hour (mph) located at the ICON Park, in the tourist district of Orlando.
The autopsy revealed that Sampson weighed 383 pounds and was just over 6 feet tall, when the instruction and use manual of the attraction’s manufacturer, Funtime Thrill Rides, indicates that the maximum weight allowed to ride this is 286 pounds, picked up by local channel WKMG TV.RELATED
The Orange County Medical Examiner’s Office found the corpulent teen’s body had numerous bruises to his face, skull, ribs and legs, as well as lacerations to his face, stomach, arm and feet.
The autopsy report states that it was an accident and that Sampson died from “strong blow trauma.”
Sampson was in Orlando with a friend’s family on vacation and his size has been examined as a potential factor in his slipping out of his seat midway through the ride.
An initial report from outside engineers hired by the Florida Department of Agriculture said the sensors had been manually adjusted to double the size of the opening for the two-seat restraints, resulting in Sampson not being properly secured.
The minor’s family sued the park (ICON Park) that rents the space last April; the manufacturer, Funtime Thrill Rides, and the company that operates it, Slingshot Group.
The lawsuit alleges that the operators of the attraction should have known that the occupants of the attraction were exposed to “unreasonably dangerous and foreseeable risks that could result in serious injury and death.”
The same lawsuit states that the attraction did not have seat belts and that the manufacturer and operator did not ensure that notices about weight and height restrictions, among other points, were visible to the public.
An attorney for the ride’s owner, Orlando Slingshot, said the company is cooperating with state investigators in what happened.
At a press conference last April, Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Nikki Fried said the investigation report concluded that “the safety sensor in the seat was manually adjusted” to the boy’s large size, which which allowed the opening of the harness to be almost twice normal.
It appears that the ride operator manually adjusted the harness opening and seat sensor to accommodate the teen, according to an investigation by Tallahassee, Florida-based engineering firm Quest Engineering.
Orlando Free Fall seats about 30 people, who are transported to the top of the tower before being released in a free fall of more than 75 mph, according to the description on the park’s website.
It was advertised as the tallest free fall tower in the world.