Freefall ride at Florida's ICON Park being removed year after teen falls to death

ByNick Papantonis, WFTV
Thursday, March 16, 2023
Freefall ride at Florida's ICON Park being removed
Crews dismantle the Orlando freefall ride a year after 14-year-old Tyre Sampson fell to his death.

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Another tower has been added to Orlando's ICON Park skyline Wednesday as crews continue dismantling the freefall ride.

It's a monumental step, taking place a year after 14-year-old Tyre Sampson fell to his death while on spring break.

The tower's appearance comes the day Sampson's mother, Nekia Dodd, intends to visit the site for the first time.

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Her attorneys in the past have said taking the ride down was one of her top priorities as she heals.

"It is just heartbreaking for Nikita, and her heart just keeps breaking over and over and over again. And that's why she's committed to this cause," Kimberly Wald, with Haggard Law Firm, said in 2022.

Dodd is still suing the ride's manufacturer and operator for her son's death.

Attorneys said the manufacturer made a decision to not put seat belts on their ride that makes them liable.

RELATED: Florida teen's amusement park death after fall from ride 'could've been prevented,' family says

An investigative report also found someone in control of the ride adjusted the seats beyond their recommended limit, causing Sampson's fall.

The state recently settled with the ride's operator and no criminal charges have been filed.

Orlando freefall is creating a scholarship in Sampson's name.

ALSO READ: Video of Tyre Sampson falling is one of the worst tragedies he's ever seen, attorney Ben Crump says