Private ride safety inspector, Ken Martin, said 14-year-old Tyre Sampson, who fell from a Free Fall drop tower in Orlando, was “too big” for the ride.
Martin, a certified private ride safety inspector for over 25 years, explained how.
“We know this young man has been reported by his father that he weighed 350 pounds,” he said.
“For the sake of discussion, we’re going to assume that when that ride drops at first drop, that there is negative two (G-forces, two times the force of gravity). Those negative two (G-forces) times his weight, 350 pounds, that means that there’s 700 pounds of force that are pushing on his body. And I don’t care how athletic a person is, how strong they are, there’s no way a person who weighs that amount subjected to negative two (G-forces) can hold themselves in the ride.”
Sampson tragically fell to his death from the Free Fall ride at ICON Park on Mar. 24. According to ICON’s official website, it would take riders to the very top of a 430-foot tower and then fall at speeds of up to 75 mph. Operators of the thrill ride have called it the world’s tallest drop tower.
The teen was reportedly in Orlando visiting the tourist attraction with his football team.
Despite Martin’s claims that he was too large to be on the ride, he also said that the school athlete was not correctly strapped into his seat.
“The restraint was definitely not properly secured,” the ride inspector said. “I know and have seen pictures of the ride that indicate there are no seat belts on the ride, which would classify as (only) one redundant safety system.”
He arrived at the conclusion after state inspectors from the Florida Department of Agriculture opened an investigation of the incident.
“They want to make sure the mechanisms are working. That includes mechanical, electrical, hydraulic,” Martin said.
WKMG-TV has reportedly reached out to the CEO of ICON Park, Christopher Jaskiewicz, but he hasn’t responded.