‘Get Down This Death Trap’ Group Protest Florida Amusement Park Ride After Teenager Dies
ORLANDO (WESH) — In the wake of a tragedy in Florida, local leaders are promising a full safety review of an amusement ride after a teenager fell from it and died. Others just want the ride to go completely.
The Juneteenth Project Coalition’s message is very clear. The charity held a peaceful protest Friday in honor of Tire Sampson, 14, who was killed in a March 24 fall during the Orlando Free Fall Ride at Icon Park.
“Right now finger pointing may not be very productive, but what is productive is breaking down that deadly trap,” said Tina Wilson, the coalition’s founder.
Wilson tapped Slingshot Group CEO Ritchie Armstrong to make the change.
“We are asking him to remove this structure and replace it with something more child friendly in honor of the young boy who lost his life,” she said.
The Juneteenth Project Coalition has a petition circulating on change.org to get this particular ride going. Once they reach 10,000 signatures, they will send this petition to local leaders as well as representatives of the region.
State Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried was in Orlando to speak about the investigation at the Wells’Built Museum.
The state hired a forensic engineer to investigate.
“We don’t take this lightly,” Fried said. “We’re going to do everything in our power, including potentially increasing our power, to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again.”
State Rep. Geraldine Thompson will introduce a bill called the Tire Sampson Bill to address shortcomings in areas of safety standards, state oversight, or training protocols for rides after that a cause has been determined. She said the state could also look at seat belts.
“It may be that the investigation reveals that not only the harness, but additional protection, which would have been a seat belt, could have saved Tyre’s life,” she said.
A statement from Icon Park said it looked forward to working with all parties “to ensure a tragedy like this never happens again.”
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