people on thrill ride with caption 'One of the attendants literally asked if they checked the seatbelt - 'you check the seatbel on...the left side?' 'No.''


Video allegedly shows workers questioning seatbelts before boy’s death on ride

The remarks were made after the ride already started.


Braden Bjella


Posted on Mar 29, 2022   Updated on Apr 11, 2022, 3:33 pm CDT

On Thursday, March 24, a 14-year-old boy fell to his death while riding the Orlando Free Fall ride at Orlando’s ICON Park.

Tyre Sampson’s fall was recorded, and the video found its way online soon after the incident, according to multiple reports, including one by Heavy. However, another video captured what seems to be guest and employee concerns about the riders’ seatbelts right before the fatal incident occurred. An apparent repost of that clip on TikTok accrued over 10 million views in three days.

In the video, posted by user @moe.david.elk, people discuss whether seatbelts were checked. This discussion occurs after the riders have already begun their ascent.

“Hey did you check your seatbelt? On the left side?” someone asks off-camera. “Seatbelt! Seatbelt!”

Someone replies with a “no” as the ride continues.

According to CBS News, which also reported on the remarks, the conversation happened between a worker and a guest. Before the alleged worker asks if the seatbelt on the left side was checked, a rider questioned: “Why doesn’t this have a little click to it, like a seatbelt?”

This question is featured in a fuller video posted by CBS News.

Soon after the accident, John Stine, sales and marketing director for the company that owns the ride, Slingshot Group, responded to these concerns. According to him, Sampson was secured in the ride before the accident.

The New York Post reported that, in the full video, one of the employees asked another after Sampson’s fall, “Did you check him?”

The employee responds, “The light was on. We did check him.”

The “light” refers to a safety mechanism designed for the ride that shows whether a rider has been secured.

FOX35 Orlando shared the full Operations Manual for the ride. On page 82, the manual demonstrates how this mechanism works.

“In the restraint section the status of the restraints of each seat row is shown,” the manual states of the ride’s safety program. “Green light indicates the restraints are closed, no light on indicates restraints are opened and red light indicates the restraints are faulted.”

According to an attorney representing the 14-year-old’s family, Sampson’s size may have made this indication irrelevant.

Local news affiliate WESH reports that “on page 58 of the operator’s manual for this ride, the maximum weight is listed as less than 287 pounds.” The boy’s attorney, according to the report, contends that, as he was over 300 pounds, he should not have been allowed on the ride.

The manual makes a specific note of “large guests.” Page 57 reads, “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.”

WESH also reports that the ride posted minimum height at the time of the accident, but there was no posted maximum weight.

The Daily Dot reached out to ICON Park via email and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office in Orlando via a contact form.

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*First Published: Mar 29, 2022, 9:09 am CDT