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Teen who plummeted to his death from drop tower ride may have been too large to safely ride; father says he learned of son's tragic death on social media

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Image source: YouTube screenshot

The seat of the teenager who fell to his death from a 430-foot amusement park tower ride was still locked, according to a Tuesday CNN report.

The teen, identified as 14-year-old Tyre Sampson, fell from the Orlando Free Fall drop tower at ICON Park in Florida on Thursday.

What are the details?

CNN reported that the teen "came out of the seat" when the ride's magnets "engaged to slow the ride during the descent."

“Harness was still in a down and locked position when the ride stopped,” the report from the Fair Rides division of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said.

The report also asked whether the teen was too large for the ride's weight and height constraints.

Tyre's father, Yarnell Sampson, told the outlet that his son was a "big guy" at 6'5" and 340 pounds.

"The ride’s Operations & Maintenance Manual, which has been posted online by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, indicates the maximum passenger weight is 130 kilograms (approximately 287 pounds)," the report continued.

A portion of the manual adds, "Be careful when seeing if large guests fit into the seats. Check that they fit within the contours of the seat and the bracket fits properly. If this is not so — Do not let this person ride.”

Park administrators at the time of this reporting have yet to address whether Tyre was simply too big for the ride.

An investigation into the accident remains ongoing.

The ride opened in December and boasted being the tallest ever free-standing drop tower.

Father learned of son's death on social media

Sampson told WESH-TV that he learned through a video circulating on social media that his son had been killed in a freak accident.

"I just lost, I lost, lost wind," he recalled. "And the pain behind it could never be taken away, and sorry's not gonna take it back and no monies, no nothing in the world to replace the young man ... It's just sad, a young man's bright future was taken away from him over a ride, an amusement park."

"I wish I was there to tell him I love him. That I'm sorry. For him to lose his life. So young, and I wish it was me," Sampson added.

Attorney Benjamin Crump, who is representing the family, said that Tyre had big dreams to become a professional football player.

"This young man was the kind of son everyone hopes for — an honor roll student, an aspiring athlete, and a kind-hearted person who cared about others," Crump said in a statement on the teen's death.

14-Year-Old Dies After Falling From Ride At Orlando Theme Park www.youtube.com

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