Did the St. Louis County teenager’s height contribute to the Florida Armory’s death? | Law and order
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Lawyers for the family of Tire Sampson, a rising college football player at St. Louis County, want to know if neglect of his height or other factors played a role when he was died Thursday night from a towering Orlando carousel.
Tyr, from Berkeley, was just 14 but was already 6ft 5in tall and weighed well over 300lbs.
“This young man, he was athletic and he was tall. He had no way of knowing,” Bob Hilliard, a Texas attorney who represents Tyre’s mother, Nekia Dodd, said in an interview on Saturday.
“It’s going to be a problem of lack of supervision and lack of training. A case of pure and simple negligence.
On Saturday, investigators continued to examine what happened when Tyr abandoned his seat after the 430-foot Orlando FreeFall ride. The ride takes customers to this height, tilts so they face the ground for a moment or two, then plummets back to the ground at speeds of 75 mph or more.
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Ben Crump, a well-known civil rights attorney, works with Hilliard and represents Tyre’s father, Yarnell Sampson. Crump said the family was “shocked and heartbroken by the loss of their son.”
“This young man was the kind of son everyone hopes for – an honor roll student, a budding athlete and a generous person who cared about others,” Crump said in a statement Saturday.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office and the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which regulates amusement rides in Florida except for major theme parks, declined to comment on Saturday except to say that the investigation is ongoing.
the Icon Park attraction said in a statement that it is cooperating fully with investigators and that the Orlando FreeFall ride will be closed indefinitely.
Tire was part of a group called the St. Louis Bad Boyz Football Club that was in Orlando for a week-long training camp. The group had chaperones and, by all accounts, were doing what millions of people do every spring break in Orlando: enjoying the theme parks and rides.
No criminal charges have been filed, but a lawsuit for negligence or wrongful death, or both, seems likely. Crump said the boy’s parents “intend to get answers for Tyre’s grieving family.”
“A fun visit to a theme park with his football team shouldn’t have ended in tragedy,” Crump said.