Death at ICON Park: The father of Tire Sampson, who was killed on a Florida park ride, learned of the death via graphic social media video

The father of the 14-year-old, who died after falling from a ride at a Florida amusement park, learned of his son’s death through a graphic social media video that went viral.

Tire Sampson, 14, who lived in St. Louis, died in a tragic accident on March 24 while on the FreeFall drop tower ride at ICON Park in Florida when the ride went down, prompting an investigation into the park’s safety procedures.

A free-fall ride takes riders to the top and then drops them nearly 400 feet at speeds in excess of 120 km/h, according to ICON Park’s online description.

The teenager had sustained serious injuries and was taken to hospital shortly after, but was later pronounced dead.

He was in Orlando for spring break with a friend from his football team when he decided to go to ICON Park.

His father, Yarnell Sampson, has now said he learned of his son’s tragic death through online video of the accident and is seeking answers at the park.

“I wish I was there to tell him I love him. I’m sorry for that. That he loses his life. So young, and I wish I was,” Mr. Sampson, father of 14-year-old Tyre, tearfully told NBC-affiliated WESH.

The free-fall climb at ICON Park that killed a 14-year-old boy in an accident

(screen grab/video/WESH)

“I want to know what happened to my son. I want to know why my son is stuck in a white bag and needs to be sent home. He went there. Why can’t he go back? I want answers from everyone. Who was involved?” he told the outlet.

“It felt like someone hit me in the stomach so hard. I just lost, I lost, lost the wind. And the pain behind it could never be taken away and I’m sorry I won’t take it back and no money, nothing on earth to replace the young man.”

“And it’s just sad, a young man’s bright future was taken from him on a drive, [in] an amusement park.”

The father said Tyrus was a hardworking kid who became a football recruit in the eighth grade.

A monument to Tire was erected in the park

(screen grab/video/WESH)

The family has pushed a demand that the ride be permanently shut down and want to know how the fatal accident happened. They have sought the help of prominent Orlando attorney Ben Crump and Texas attorney Bob Hilliard.

His father said Tire was “6’5 and 340 pounds tall [154kg]. So he’s a big guy.” Tire was considered a talented soccer player and weighed his choice of high school, Orlando Weekly reported.

A small memorial was erected for the teenager at ICON Park, where people left balloons to commemorate him.

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