TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Despite ICON Park announcing earlier this month that the Orlando FreeFall ride would be torn down after 14-year-old Tyre Sampson fell to his death while riding it, actually tearing it down may have to wait.
According to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the state agency which manages rides at fairgrounds and amusement parks, ICON Park cannot take the FreeFall ride down until after the investigation into Sampson’s death concludes.
At this stage, FDACS officials said “the investigation is still ongoing and we have no timeline right now.”
However, FDACS Commissioner Nikki Fried previously released a detailed proposal for new safety regulations to affect rides in the future following Sampson’s death. An autopsy report said the teen died after falling more than 70 feet from the ride.
“When accidents occur, often it’s because many small issues happen at the same time to create a perfect storm. Our goal here was to identify the issues that caused that perfect storm in Tyre’s case and work to prevent them from occurring again,” Fried said. “This is not a Republican or a Democratic issue – this is a safety issue, and as leaders we have a responsibility to do everything in our power to ensure that these rides are safe for the people of Florida.”
The plan, released by the commissioner in July, accompanied a legislative proposal by Florida Sen. Randolph Bracy, D-Orange County, and Florida Rep. Geraldine Thompson, D-Windermere.
The legislative proposal, called the “Tyre Sampson bill” by its authors, introduced steps to prevent future lethal incidents.
The FDACS spokesperson who spoke with WFLA.com said they anticipate proposed changes which may follow the end of the Sampson investigation would likely have “broader” adjustments to current safety regulations.