Demolition of Orlando FreeFall ride begins this week
ORLANDO, Fla. - This week, crews will begin the process of tearing down the Orlando FreeFall ride at ICON Park.
The ride has been closed for nearly a year after 14-year-old Tyre Sampson fell to his death.
The owners of the ride hope to have the demolition complete by March 24, the one-year anniversary of the teenager's death.
The process started about a week ago on a small scale. Crews were seen removing bolts from parts of the ride and fencing, but this week, we could see major chunks of the ride dismantled.
An attorney for the Orlando Slingshot Group released a statement saying they expect the crane to arrive on Monday and "that activity is expected to continue into the following week, because of the size of the ride."
A state investigation found Sampson's seat was manually adjusted to accommodate his size and he slipped through the restraints as the ride was coming down.
The owners of the ride were fined $250,000 by the state for the incident and agreed to remove the ride.
An amusement ride safety analyst says the ride was built to withstand hurricanes, so the dismantling process is likely extensive.
The company hasn’t said what will happen to the pieces of the ride once it’s dismantled.
Sampson's parents also filed wrongful death lawsuits against several companies following the incident.
As we monitor the dismantling of the ride, we're also monitoring legislation filed in the teen's honor. It requires more signage at rides, more ride operator training, and more extensive reviews before permits are issued to amusement ride companies, in hopes of preventing another tragedy.