The maker of the Orlando FreeFall performed a “final inspection” of the ride at ICON Park on Thursday before it is scheduled to be torn down, almost one year after 14-year-old Tyre Sampson died after falling off the attraction.
Funtime Handels of Austria and Gerstlauer of Germany, which made and designed the ride, preformed a final inspection Thursday at the ride where Sampson fell to his death on March 24, 2022, according to WESH.
An operating manual for the Orlando FreeFall ride says the maximum passenger weight is just over 286 pounds. Sampson, who lived in Missouri, was 6 feet, 5 inches tall and reportedly weighed 360 pounds.
Orlando Slingshot, the company that operates the Orlando FreeFall, announced in October 2022 that the ride would be torn down.
ORLANDO FREEFALL: OPERATING GROUP PLANS TO TAKE DOWN RIDE AFTER TEEN’S AMUSEMENT PARK DEATH
“Orlando Slingshot announced it has decided to take down the 400-foot-tall FreeFall ride attraction on International Drive. The decision resulted from the accidental death of Tyre Sampson on March 24,” the company said in a statement.
A spokesperson for the Orlando Slingshot told Fox News Digital that the process of taking down the ride will take weeks.
“There is a final inspection today on the FreeFall ride. This is another step forward in the process to dismantle the ride. We still expect the full process to take weeks, as it will ultimately require the use of cranes and other heavy machinery,” the spokesperson said.
Kim Wald, an attorney for the Sampson family, told the news outlet that the companies have been delaying the final inspection because they are challenging the lawsuit.
ORLANDO FREEFALL: FLORIDA OFFICIALS RELEASE ‘FRAMEWORK’ FOR PROPOSED AMUSEMENT PARK RIDE SAFETY LEGISLATION
“This ride needs to come down. We all know this ride needs to come down. It’s been almost a year, and the fact that this ride is still standing today really is just such a travesty,” Wald said.
A settlement with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and Orlando Slingshot was reached this month, which means the company can move forward with tearing down the ride.
“Orlando Eagle Drop recently confirmed a settlement and resolution with FDACS. We are pleased to have resolved this matter with FDACS without the necessity of a formal hearing. As we publicly stated since October, we have been preparing for taking down the FreeFall ride once FDACS concluded its investigation. The final agreement we reached with FDACS allows us to proceed coordinating a timeline with all involved parties to take down the ride, which we expect will take several weeks,” Trevor Arnold, GrayRobinson P.A., attorney for Orlando Slingshot said in a statement to Fox News Digital.
The ride has been closed since the incident happened on March 24. Nikki Fried, former Florida commissioner of agriculture and consumer services, said that maladjustments made to the seat’s proximity sensor triggered the safety light, incorrectly allowing Sampson to ride even though he was not “properly secured in the seat.”
“These maladjustments allowed the safety lights to illuminate – improperly satisfying the ride’s electronic safety mechanisms — that allowed the ride to operate even though Mr. Sampson was not properly secured in the seat,” Fried said. “The report confirms that manual adjustments had been made to the sensor for the seat in question that allowed the harness’ restraint opening to be almost double that of the normal restraints opening range.”
A report by the department states that the harness of the seat Sampson was in had a proximity sensor that “was manually loosened, adjusted, and tightened to allow a restraint opening of near 7 inches.”
Normally, the range is around 3 inches, according to the report.