Teen who died at amusement park was a football standout and a ‘gentle giant’ with a kind heart, loved ones say


(CNN) — At the younger age of 14, Tyre Sampson mapped out his foreseeable future: play professional soccer and obtain his mom a home, according to his father Yarnell Sampson.

People aspirations have been cut quick Thursday when Sampson died after slipping from the FreeFall fall tower ride at ICON Park in Orlando, Florida.

The FreeFall usually takes riders to the top rated of a 430-foot tower and falls at speeds of up to 75 mph, the ICON Park’s site claims. Operators get in touch with it the world’s tallest freestanding drop tower, the sheriff’s business office mentioned.

Tyre “was a pretty good youthful gentleman. He was a big teddy bear, a mild huge,” Yarnell Sampson stated, incorporating Tyre would give the shirt off his again to any one who necessary it.

Tyre, who was from St. Louis, was checking out Orlando with his football team around spring split, his father mentioned.

“He gave me purpose to live,” Yarnell Sampson advised CNN. “He earned a proper to appreciate himself and, regrettably, he missing his lifestyle on that journey.”

‘Somebody people cherished to be around’

Brandon Gregory experienced the possibility to mentor Tyre only due to the fact January during an off year soccer system, but he explained to CNN it was more than enough time to know that the eighth-grader was destined for greatness on and off the industry.

“He showed respect for some others, he was still indicating sir and of course ma’am in 2022,” Yarnell Sampson claimed.

Tyre attended middle school in the St. Louis place but was working towards at his foreseeable future higher school throughout the river with Gregory and his gamers at East Saint Louis Significant University in East St. Louis, Illinois.

Tyre was “somebody that people today like to be close to,” Gregory informed CNN. “Sometimes, fellas that significant could be intimidating but he did not have that intimidation aspect .. just the way he carried himself close to some of the scaled-down fellas.”

Yarnell Sampson reported his son was 6-foot-5-inches and weighed 340 lbs

Gregory mentioned Tyre did not permit his dimension quit him from undertaking like his friends.

“We choose our routines to the brink of disaster, but he normally fought through,” Gregory reported. “Even if he had to just take a split, he would get it carried out.”

The final memory Gregory has of Tyre is expressing goodbye to just one a further in the excess weight home ahead of the school’s spring crack.

“Everybody will remember him as the soccer participant who experienced a bright future,” Gregory explained. “But like I tell my little ones, the football will go flat at some level and I just consider Tyre was going to inevitably go on to be a terrific father, a good spouse, good uncle, on best of becoming a great soccer player.”

Investigation into what happened carries on

In video circulating on social media that purportedly reveals the incident, a particular person falls from their seat about 5 seconds into the ride’s drop down the tower, as the car or truck decelerates right before it reaches the floor.

Whilst keeping again tears, Sampson told CNN he viewed the movie of his son’s dying on Facebook.

“I saw the online video of my son slipping down, and I could not believe (it). My life stopped,” Sampson stated.

The FreeFall trip handed a safety inspection in December ahead of it was authorized to open, according to an inspection report acquired by CNN.

Sheriff’s investigators will establish no matter if the incident was an accident or intentional, and from an original investigation, “it appears to be a awful tragedy,” Orange County Sheriff John Mina said.

The ride has been closed right until further more recognize though the incident is investigated.

Florida Section of Agriculture and Shopper Providers has statewide duty to inspect all amusement rides in Florida, apart from for people at significant parks that have more than 1,000 workers and have complete-time inspectors on employees.

“The pain behind this can in no way be taken absent, no dollars, practically nothing in the globe can swap that youthful guy,” Yarnell Sampson reported. “It’s just unhappy a youthful gentleman with a bright long run taken away from him in excess of a trip.”


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Anna C. Knight

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