It has been announced that an Orlando Theme Park attraction will come down.
Located in Orlando, ICON Park is an entertainment complex that promotes itself as featuring fun and games for the whole family. There are restaurants, funky bars, boutique shops, and amusement parks for people of all ages to enjoy.
Attractions include a Ferris wheel, wax museum, aquarium, swing-style ride, train, museum of illusions, and more. Two of the attractions, the StarFlyer and FreeFall have been at the center of some tragic accidents as of late. Back in September 2020, we shared the horrible news that a construction worker fell to his death as he was working on the StarFlyer (pictured above). You can read the news connected to that incident here.
Tragedy on the Orlando FreeFall
In March, tragedy struck when witnesses saw a person fall from a ride to the ground. The ride was the Orlando FreeFall.
For background, the ride opened in December 2021 at ICON Park. According to a news release, the thrill ride stands 430 feet, “making it the world’s tallest free-standing drop tower.” The ride rotates around the gigantic tower as it rises to the top. Once riders reach the top, the ride tilts forward 30 degrees and faces the ground for a “brief moment before free falling nearly 400 feet at speeds reaching over 75 mph.”
The person who tragically fell from the ride and died was a 14-year-old child. He was visiting the park with his family when the unthinkable happened. You can read an initial report of this tragedy here.
Initial Statement from ICON Park
ICON Park did release a statement following the tragedy. Tonight, the ICON Park family is grieving because of the tragedy involving Tyre Sampson. Our heartfelt thoughts are with his family and friends.
ICON Park is committed to being a place where families can spend quality time together in a safe and fun space. We are in close coordination and will continue to cooperate with law enforcement and regulators regarding our tenant, the SlingShot Group.
The Ride Will Come Down
According to ABC News, Orlando Slingshot, the operator of the ride, has decided to tear down the ride. “We are devastated by Tyre’s death. We have listened to the wishes of Tyre’s family and the community, and have made the decision to take down the FreeFall,” Ritchie Armstrong, an official with Orlando Slingshot, said in a statement.
The timeline for taking down the ride, which has been closed since the incident, will be determined pending approval from “all involved parties and regulatory entities,” according to the Orlando Slingshot official. Orlando Slingshot has plans to create a scholarship in Sampson’s name. This scholarship will serve to honor his “legacy in the classroom and on the football field,” Armstrong said.
ICON Park made a statement regarding the decision to take down the ride. “Tyre’s death is a tragedy that we will never forget. As the landlord, ICON Park welcomes and appreciates Orlando Slingshot’s decision to take down the ride.” Of course, there are parties who think the ride should have come down much sooner. For example, the attorney representing the child’s mother stated that “it should have been done immediately after Tyre’s death.”
If you feel compelled, please feel free to process your own feelings on the incident here or through our space on Facebook.
Source: ABC News