Petition launched to replace Orlando FreeFall with Tyre Sampson memorial

There's a new push to have the Orlando FreeFall attraction at ICON Park torn down after 14-year-old Tyre Sampson fell to his death in March.

More than 4,000 people have signed a petition. The group who started it says they want thrill rides to be made safer and they want the Orlando FreeFall drop tower to be torn down.

The ‘Juneteenth Project Coalition,’ an organization out of Apopka, was at ICON Park saying they don’t want Sampson’s death to be forgotten. The group wants the ride's owner and employees held accountable in the death of Sampson. They also want safety belts to be required on rides and more protocols in place should someone get injured.

RELATED: Orlando FreeFall death investigation: No one immediately helped Tyre Sampson after fall death, witnesses say

Founders James and Tina Wilson say it hits close to home because they have a son around the same age as Tyre. 

They are pushing for county and state officials to do more. 


Tyre Sampson, 14, is pictured in a provided family photo. 

Sampson died March 24 after he fell out of the restraints while on the drop tower attraction at ICON Park in Orlando. Video of the incident was shared widely on social media. The teen was visiting Orlando on spring break with another family from St. Louis, Missouri.

Quest Engineering, a forensics company hired by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, to investigate what happened, released its initial report and determined that the operator of the ride made "manual adjustments" to the ride's harness proximity sensor on two of the seats, including the one Sampson was in, which falsely showed that Sampson was secured in his seat and that the ride was safe to operate.

RELATED: 'You stripped me of my son:' Tyre Sampson's mom talks to reporters about son's fall from Orlando FreeFall ride

Following Sampson's death, an investigation opened and questions were raised about how it happened and how to avoid it, including whether Sampson was properly secured into his seat, whether he was too physically large or too tall, or exceeded the ride's weight restrictions.


An operating manual from the ride's manufacturer for the Orlando FreeFall stated that the maximum passenger weight is just over 286 pounds. Sampson was 6 feet, 5 inches tall and reportedly weighed 380 pounds, according to the lawsuit.

His family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit. Nekia Dodd, the mother of Tyre, says that everyone – the manufacturer, park operators, and ride operators – is equally at fault in her son's death.

The family is seeking an unknown amount in damages and requested a jury trial.