Orlando FreeFall victim’s parents, Ben Crump discuss wrongful death suit: ‘Profit over safety’


NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

Nekia Dodd and Yarnell Sampson, the mother and father of deceased 14-year-old Tyree Sampson, on Tuesday discussed their wrongful death lawsuit filed against ICON Park in Orange County, Florida, on Monday.

Tyre Sampson fell to his death from the Orlando FreeFall ride at ICON Park on March 24. The teenager had traveled from St. Louis, Missouri, to Orlando with a football program when the tragic event unfolded. 

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of the Sampson family with attorneys Robert Hilliard and Michael Haggard, said during a separate Tuesday press conference recorded by FOX 35 Orlando that he filed the complaint because defendants “put profit over safety.”

Attorney Ben Crump (right) and Yarnell Samspon, father of Tyre Sampson, speak during an April 26 press conference. 
(FOX 25 Orlando)

“If you’re going to advertise for children to come to your amusement park, then you have an obligation to protect children. I mean, it’s not a complicated dynamic,” Crump said. 

FAMILY OF TEEN KILLED IN FLORIDA AMUSEMENT PARK AFTER FALLING OFF RIDE FILES WRONGFUL DEATH LAWSUIT

The defendants “cut corners to save pennies, and it cost people their lives,” the attorney said.

Crump added that other than the video showing George Floyd’s killing in May 2020, the video of Tyre falling from the ride has become one of the most “horrific videos ever captured.” Yarnell Sampson said he did not find out his son had died until after the video went viral online, and he saw Tyre for the first time since he died last week at his funeral.

Yarnell Sampson, Tyre Sampson's father, speaks during an April 26 press conference. 

Yarnell Sampson, Tyre Sampson’s father, speaks during an April 26 press conference. 
(FOX 35 Orlando)

“What I’m feeling right now is sickening. There are days when I can’t get up out [of] bed, make myself eat, make myself drink. Imagine you lose a…14-year-old child that was a straight-A student,” Sampson said.

TEENAGER FALLS TO DEATH FROM FLORIDA AMUSEMENT PARK RIDE

Dodd and Sampson are accusing the park, as well as the owner and manufacturer of the FreeFall ride, of negligence after their son died last month. 

They allege that the park and ride operator did not warn Tyre of height and weight restrictions on the ride; failed to “provide appropriate restraint systems” on the ride; failed to inspect, test and close the ride; and “negligently” adjusted Tyre’s restraints.

Amusement park visitors were in shock after seeing a teenage boy die after falling off of one of the park's rides.

Amusement park visitors were in shock after seeing a teenage boy die after falling off of one of the park’s rides.
(FOX 35 Orlando)

Sampson was 6 feet, 5 inches tall and weighed 330 pounds, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

ORLANDO FREEFALL: FLORIDA LAWMAKER CALLS FOR ‘LOOPHOLE’ IN LAW TO BE CLOSED AFTER TEENAGER DIED ON RIDE

The 65-page complaint also accuses the park of “negligently” selling Tyre a ticket to the FreeFall ride despite his height and weight. 

Dodd said she would like to see ICON Park implement new safety measures for ride participants and shut down the FreeFall ride completely.

Nekia Dodd, Tyre Sampson's mother, speaks during an April 26 press conference. 

Nekia Dodd, Tyre Sampson’s mother, speaks during an April 26 press conference. 
(FOX 35 Orlando)

“He was a go-getter, and for him not to be here is just devastating. He was on his way. He was going to be known, but not like this,” Dodd said during a Tuesday press conference. “He was going to be on the football scene, in the field…not through…this type of way, no.”

FLORIDA’S ICON PARK: WHAT TO KNOW

Haggard, who assisted with filing the complaint, suggested during the Tuesday press conference that Tyre’s death could have been avoided with a “$22” safety belt on the ride that took millions of dollars to construct.

“There were 30 seats on that ride. It would cost $660…to save the life of a 14-year-old,” Haggard said, adding that there is no ride quite like the FreeFall — which sends passengers down a 430-foot tower at 70 mph, starting at a 30-degree tilt — in the United States.

Attorney Michael Haggard speaks during an April 26 press conference. 

Attorney Michael Haggard speaks during an April 26 press conference. 
(FOX 35 Orlando)

Haggard also claimed that ICON Park has a “shoddy history” with four prior ride incidents.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Orlando Slingshot said in a Monday statement that it is cooperating with investigators.

“We reiterate that all protocols, procedures and safety measures provided by the manufacturer of the ride were followed,” the statement said. “We look forward to working with the Florida legislature to implement change in the industry and we are also supportive of … the ‘Tyre Sampson Bill’ to prevent a tragic accident like this from ever happening again.”

Fox News’ Louis Casiano contributed to this report.



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.