Slingshot Group Allowed the Orlando FreeFall Ride to Be Manually Adjusted Before the Tragic Accident

Yesterday afternoon, Nikki Fried (the Florida Commissioner of Agriculture) gave an update regarding the accident that involved the tragic death of a teenager riding the Orlando FreeFall, the world's tallest drop tower located within the ICON Orlando entertainment district.

Here's an update from News Anchor/Reporter Greg Angel, who posted the following on Facebook:

"UPDATE: Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried just gave an update on the state’s ongoing investigation into the late March death of 14 year old Tyre Sampson. He died after falling from the Orlando FreeFall attraction at Icon Park.

Fried says a third party FDACS hired to help analyze the mechanics of FreeFall found the SlingShot Group (owner/operator) “made manual adjustments to the ride resulting in it being unsafe”. Commissioner Fried said this manual adjustment allowed the ride to operate in an unsafe way. Full Story:

The operating manual for the ride said there is a 287pound per person weight limit. There have been questions about, why then, if Tyre Sampson was 6 foot+ tall, and 330 pounds, was he allowed on the ride. Related:

Fried said it is now known what mechanically happened, but the investigation will now look at how and why this happened.

Late Monday afternoon, an attorney representing The SlingShot Group (owner/operator of Orlando FreeFall) released this statement: 
"Orlando Slingshot has fully cooperated with the State during the initial phase of its investigation, and we will continue to do so until it has officially concluded.  All protocols, procedures and safety measures provided to us by the manufacturer of the ride were followed. Today’s report suggests a full review of the ride’s design, safety, operation, restraint mechanisms and history – which of course we welcome.  We look forward to working with the Florida legislature to implement change in the industry, as the safety of our patrons is always our top priority.” - Trevor Arnold, GrayRobinson P.A., attorney for Orlando Slingshot

ICON Park, the landlord/property owner of where the attraction is, released this statement: 
Below is an official statement from ICON Park.
"We are deeply troubled that the preliminary findings of the State’s investigation indicate a sensor on the Orlando FreeFall attraction, which is owned and operated by the SlingShot Group, had been mis-adjusted after the sensor was originally secured in place. ICON Park is committed to providing a safe, fun experience for families. We will continue to support the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services with their ongoing investigation."

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PHOTO: © ICON Orlando. All Rights Reserved.

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