ORLANDO, Fla. — Nearly a year after a Missouri teen fell to his death, a 400-foot attraction in central Florida’s tourist corridor was dismantled this week.
A gigantic crane loomed next to the towering attraction Wednesday in Orlando’s International Drive tourist district, where 14-year-old Tire Sampson fell in March 2022. A fence surrounded the attraction, blocking parts of the sidewalk and road nearby. Dismantling of the attraction is expected to take several days.
Sampson, who lived in the St. Louis area, was visiting Orlando for spring break when he died from the fall.
An autopsy showed that Tire Sampson suffered numerous broken bones and internal injuries in the fall, which was ruled an accidental death. It showed that Sampson weighed 383 pounds, well over the travel manual weight limit of 287 pounds.
An initial report from third-party engineers hired by the Florida Department of Agriculture said in-game sensors had been manually adjusted to double the size of the opening for the two-seat restraints, resulting in the teen not being properly secured. The report said there were many other «potential contributions» to the accident.
Tire Sampson’s family filed a lawsuit against the ride’s owner, manufacturer, and owner, alleging they were negligent and failed to provide a safe ride.
Legislation is pending in the Florida Legislature aimed at preventing similar accidents. The Tire Sampson Act would prevent operators of smaller Florida rides from making unauthorized adjustments to ride restraint systems and would require operators to submit more detailed safety and operational documentation to the state.