Mother: Son’s death on Florida ride could’ve been prevented – WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The mom of a 14-year-old Missouri boy who was killed while riding a 430-foot (131-meter) drop-tower ride at a Florida amusement park says her son’s death was preventable.

Nekia Dodd, the mom of Tyre Sampson, talking Tuesday at a information convention in downtown St. Louis, stated her son’s death has left her battling feelings starting from frustration to grief to anger.

“Take the ride down completely,” Dodd stated. “Get rid of it all together. Too much of a risk.”

In an interview broadcast Tuesday on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Dodd stated the accident “could’ve been prevented … it should’ve been prevented. So as an operator, you have a job to check those rides, you know. The video I saw, that was not done. And if it was done, it should’ve been done more than once, you know.”

Dodd and the boy’s father filed a lawsuit in state court docket in Orlando on Monday towards the ride’s proprietor, producer and landlord, claiming they had been negligent and failed to supply a secure amusement ride.

The lawsuit claims the defendants did not warn Sampson, who was 6-foot-2-inches (188 centimeters) tall and weighed 380 kilos (172-kilograms), concerning the risks of someone of his size going on the ride. It additionally claims they didn’t present an applicable restraint system.

Michael Haggard, considered one of Dodd’s attorneys, held up a seatbelt strap that he stated prices $22. While most free-fall rides have a shoulder harness and a seatbelt, the Orlando Free Fall ride had solely an over-the-shoulder harness. Adding seatbelts to the ride’s 30 seats would have price $660, the lawsuit stated.

“It’s disgusting,” Dodd stated. “You wanted to save a dollar but you stripped me of my son.”

Tyre’s father, Yarnell Sampson, advised NBC’s “Today” present Tuesday that the household is coping with the boy’s death “day-by-day, second-by-second, minute-by-minute.” He stated he hopes authorized motion can create change within the trade so no different dad or mum suffers.

Attorney Benjamin Crump, who’s representing the teenager’s household, stated the defendants within the case “showed negligence in a multitude of ways.”

“From the ride and seat manufacturers and the installer to the owners and operators, the defendants had more than enough chances to enact safeguards, such as seatbelts, that could have prevented Tyre’s death,” Crump stated.

An legal professional for the ride’s proprietor, Orlando Slingshot, stated the company was persevering with to cooperate with state investigators into what occurred. “We reiterate that all protocols, procedures and safety measures provided by the manufacturer of the ride were followed,” legal professional Trevor Arnold stated in an emailed assertion.

A spokesperson for the owner, ICON Park, didn’t instantly remark on the lawsuit.

Last week, an initial report by outside engineers employed by the Florida Department of Agriculture stated sensors on the ride had been adjusted manually to double the scale of the opening for restraints on two seats, leading to Sampson not being correctly secured earlier than he slipped out and fell to his death.

The Orlando Free Fall ride, which is taller than the Statue of Liberty, didn’t expertise any electrical or mechanical failures, the report stated.

The report stated there have been many different “potential contributions” to the accident and {that a} full review of the ride’s design and operations was wanted.

Sampson, visiting Orlando for spring break from the St. Louis space, was killed March 24. Dodd stated she was devastated when considered one of Tyre’s buddies known as to inform her what occurred, understanding she couldn’t be there for her son.

She described her son as a humble, well-mannered boy who cherished soccer, and she or he is satisfied he would have performed within the NFL.

“He was a go-getter,” Dodd stated. “He was on his way. He was going to be known — but not like this.”

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This materials might not be revealed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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