Autopsy confirms Tyre Sampson, who fell to his death, exceeded park ride’s weight limit by 96 pounds 

The Orange County Medical Examiner says Sampson weighed 383 pounds; the Orlando Free Fall's weight limit is 287 pounds.

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An autopsy confirmed that 14-year-old Tyre Sampson, who fell to his death from a Florida amusement park ride in March, exceeded the ride’s weight capacity by nearly 100 pounds. 

The autopsy report from the Orange County Medical Examiner, released Monday, asserts that the boy was 6-foot-2 and weighed 383 pounds. According to the report, reviewed by The Orlando Sentinel, the drop tower ride called the Orlando Free Fall listed its passengers’ weight limit as 287 pounds — meaning Sampson was 96 pounds over the recommendation. 

The Orlando Free Fall drop tower in ICON Park in Orlando, Florida, is pictured in March. Tyre Sampson, 14, died of blunt force trauma after falling from the 430-foot drop-tower amusement park ride, according to an autopsy released Monday. (Photo: Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel via AP, File)

Sampson fell to his death after slipping through the safety harnesses on the ride on March 24 as he and his classmates were visiting Orlando, Florida, from St. Louis, Missouri. According to the autopsy report, he suffered multiple hemorrhages in his head and neck, plus other injuries. His death, of blunt force trauma, has been ruled an accident. 

As previously reported, the Florida Commission of Agriculture and Consumer Services is continuing its investigation into the tragic incident. An outside engineering firm hired by the state found that the operator of the Orlando Free Fall drop tower manually changed the sensor on specific seats on the ride, “resulting in it being unsafe.”

“These mis-adjustments allowed the safety lights to illuminate and properly satisfy the ride’s electronic safety mechanisms that allowed the ride to operate, even though Mr. Sampson was not properly secured in the seat,” Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried said in April.

Sampson’s parents, Nekia Dodd and Yarnell Sampson, have named more than a dozen defendants in their negligence lawsuit related to their son’s death, including SlingShot Group and landlord ICON Park, along with various manufacturers and installers. 

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