Orlando FreeFall autopsy says teen died of blunt force trauma, weighed nearly 100 pounds over ride limit

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An autopsy released Monday for the teen who fell from the Orlando FreeFall ride in March revealed he died of blunt force trauma and ruled the manner of death as an accident. 

The autopsy conducted by the Orange County Medical Examiner also showed that 14-year-old Tyre Sampson’s weight nearly 100 pounds over the maximum passenger weight for the 430-foot drop tower attraction located at Orlando’s ICON Park, FOX 35 Orlando reported

“The body is that of well-developed, obese, 74-inch, 383-pound, black male, appearing older than the reported age of 14 years,” the medical examiner’s report says, noting multiple internal and external abrasions, lacerations, and fractures.

Sampson, who played football in the St. Louis, Missouri, area was in Florida with a friend’s family for a spring break vacation and his size has been examined as a potential factor in his death. 

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The Orlando Free Fall drop tower in ICON Park in Orlando is pictured on Monday, March 28, 2022. 

The Orlando Free Fall drop tower in ICON Park in Orlando is pictured on Monday, March 28, 2022. 
(Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel via AP, File)

An initial report by outside engineers hired by the Florida Department of Agriculture said sensors on the ride had been adjusted manually to double the size of the opening for restraints on two seats, resulting in Sampson not being properly secured.

Sampson’s parents have sued the ride’s owner, manufacturer and landlord, saying they were negligent and failed to provide a safe amusement ride. 

Visitors stand next to a memorial while a family member lights candles for Tyre Sampson, 14, who was killed when he fell from the Orlando Free Fall ride at ICON Park in Orlando, Florida, on March 26, 2022. 

Visitors stand next to a memorial while a family member lights candles for Tyre Sampson, 14, who was killed when he fell from the Orlando Free Fall ride at ICON Park in Orlando, Florida, on March 26, 2022. 
(Willie J. Allen Jr./Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

The lawsuit said the defendants failed to warn Sampson about the risks of someone of his size going on the ride and that they did not provide an appropriate restraint system.

“He never should have been on that ride. He should have been able to attend his 8th-grade graduation last week,” Kim Wald, an attorney with The Haggard Law Firm, told FOX 35, noting what the autopsy said of Sampson’s weight. “This is just one more piece of the puzzle moving forward for us in the case.”

Family members and friends of Tyre Sampson leave items during a vigil in front of the Orlando Free Fall ride in ICON Park in Orlando on Monday, March 28, 2022. 

Family members and friends of Tyre Sampson leave items during a vigil in front of the Orlando Free Fall ride in ICON Park in Orlando on Monday, March 28, 2022. 
(Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

Sampson’s father has told reporters that he learned of his son’s death through quickly disseminated viral social media video captured the fatal amusement park fall. 

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An attorney for the ride’s owner, Orlando Slingshot, has said the company is cooperating with state investigators into what happened, according to The Associated Press. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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