BREAKING: Investigation finds Ride operator manually changed sensors on seats leading to death of teenager at Orlando drop tower


The State of Florida has released a report on the findings of its investigation into the death of a 14-year-old boy in a Central Florida amusement park in March.

the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) released a report today detailing the findings of an engineering firm hired by the State of Florida in the investigation into the death of Samson tirea 14-year-old boy who died after falling from Orlando Freefall drop tower attraction at Orlando ICON Park on International driving.

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The agency is the entity responsible for fun ride accident investigations, among its many other responsibilities.

According to the report by Quest Engineering & Failure Analysis, the operator of the Orlando Freefall attraction sensors changed on specific seats on the ride manually. Manual adjustments made the drop tower attraction unsafe.

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In the report, the engineering firm says manual changes made by the operator allowed those seats’ safety harnesses to open “almost twice” the normal range, according to the Department of Health’s commissioner. Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services, Fried Nikki.

Samson tire was only 14 when he boarded the Orlando Freefall drop tower attraction on thursday nighton March 24, taking place at ride with friends. Sampson would have weighed around 340 pounds, exceeding the drop tower ridemaximum weight.

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“These misalignments [by the operator] allowed the safety lights to come on and properly satisfy the ridethe electronic security mechanisms that allowed the ride function, even if Mr. Sampson was not properly restrained in the seat,” Fried said.

The day after the tragic accident, John Stinespokesperson for Fronde Groupowner of Orlando Freefall attractiontalked about how the attraction works, saying the ride would not be operational if a harness is not locked properly.

“Our harnesses have to lock, and they have to lock, otherwise the ride won’t work, so that’s what we’re looking at,” Stine explained.

Commissioner Fried Nikki held a brief press conference shortly after the engineering firm’s report was released, but did not take any questions from the press. At the conference, Fried did not say whether the ride the operator would face criminal charges, but she said the agency was reviewing what it called “potential penalties.”

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She did not specify whether the ride The operator could potentially face criminal charges in the case, but said the agency was considering “potential penalties”.

Fried said these findings were part of the initial phase of the investigation and the investigation is still ongoing.

Fried Nikki further stated that the engineering report cites “numerous other potential contributory factors” to the tragic accident. The commissioner also said that the drop tower ride will remain closed indefinitely.


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