First photos of tragic 14-year-old boy who died during 75mph theme park ride

A young boy who tragically died in a freak accident at a theme park has been identified as his family pay their respects to the ‘gentle giant’.

Tire Sampson, 14, of Missouri, USA, slipped from his seat during the freefall and died in Florida on Thursday (March 24).

Emergency services rushed to the scene at ICON Park in Orlando, Florida after he fell from the roller coaster around 11 p.m.

The teenager was on holiday with his friend’s family when the ride dropped to 75mph at the popular attraction. He later died of his injuries in hospital.

Tire was pictured with his harness undone and not lowered to strap into his seat before the ride was launched into the air, Daily Mail reports.

A tire fell off the roller coaster on Thursday

It is still unclear whether the harness was completely closed before the start of the journey or whether the tour operator examined beforehand whether it was properly attached.

Orange County Sheriff John Mina confirmed an investigation into the ride was underway as he addressed the tragedy at a press conference.

“It just seems like a terrible tragedy,” he said on Friday. “We will see in the future what that gives.”

It was reported that moments before the ride was launched, Tire and the rest of the group were informed that there were no seatbelts.

The only way to keep them from falling out of their seats were plastic harnesses that are meant to buckle into position.

The teenager was on a trip with his friend
The teenager was on a trip with his friend

According to the theme park’s website, the ride is the tallest freestanding drop tower in the world. The ride works by spinning riders around a tower as they are lifted high into the air.

Terrifying footage captured Tyr as he tragically fell to the ground, with onlookers in the park screaming as they watched in horror.

Video shows another theme park employee rushing up to the ride operator to ask if security checks have been carried out.

He reassured her that he had, prompting her to ask again.

Following the unexpected death, Tyr’s family have paid a moving tribute to the 14-year-old online.

His stepmother Wendy said he was a ‘respectful gentle giant’

“You will be truly missed, my son,” she commented.

The incident happened at Florida ICON Park
The incident happened at Florida ICON Park

It is the second accident to occur at the attraction in two years after a staff member tragically died while working on the StarFlyer ride in 2020.

ICON Park on International Drive has yet to issue a statement on the tragedy.

The roller coaster is owned and operated by the SlingShot Group.

“We are operating the ride with all safety precautions in mind. Everything is in place,” the CEO told WESH 2.

“And that’s why we’re conducting this investigation. We’re working with the people who are investigating at this point.”

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