Teen's chilling final words before fatally flying from theme park ride

·2-min read

The father of a teenage boy who died after falling from an amusement park ride in the United States has recalled his tragic final words, saying his son knew something was wrong before the ride started.

Tyree Sampson, 14, fell from the FreeFall ride on Thursday evening (local time) while visiting Florida with his school football team from Missouri.

According to his father Yarnell Sampson, Tyree was aware something was wrong during the ride, telling his friends he could feel the safety harness moving.

If anything happened, he wanted his friends to tell his parents that he loved them.

14-year-old Tyree Sampson was visiting the Orlando theme park on Thursday when he fell off of the Free Fall ride and died.
Tyree Sampson was visiting the Orlando theme park on Thursday when he fell off of the Free Fall ride and died. Source: Facebook

"When the ride took off, that's when he was feeling uncomfortable. He was like, ‘This thing is moving.’ … That's when he started freaking out," Mr Sampson told Fox News Orlando.

"He was explaining to his friends next to him … ‘If I don’t make it down … please tell my mum and dad I love them.'

"For him to say something like that, he must've felt something."

Tyree was taken to a nearby hospital after the fall but died from his injuries.

The FreeFall ride stands at 131 metres tall.
A friend filming the ride captured the horrific incident. Source: Fox News 35

Yarnell Sampson questioning why son was allowed on the ride

Mr Sampson said his son had a "bright future" and dreamed of playing in the NFL.

He said Tyree, who was 6 feet, 5 inches tall and weighed 149kg had been turned away from other rides because of his size.

"This one particular ride decided, ‘We can take you! Come on, get on!’" he said.

"No one else allowed him to get on the ride, so I’m wondering what happened between now and then that made them say, ‘Come on, get this ride!'"

SlingShot Group which operates the ride said they are "heartbroken" by the incident.

The Orlando Free Fall ride at ICON Park whereTyre Sampson fell to his death on Thursday (local time). Source: Getty
The Orlando Free Fall ride at ICON Park whereTyre Sampson fell to his death on Thursday (local time). Source: Getty

"We extend our condolences and deepest sympathy to his family and friends," a statement read.

"We are working with the Sheriff’s Office and ride officials on a full investigation. The Orlando FreeFall will be closed until further notice."

Icon Park released a statement saying their "heartfelt thoughts are with his family and friends".

Orlando FreeFall ride stands at 131 metres tall and is the world’s tallest free-standing drop tower. The ride holds 30 passengers and rises in the air, rotates around the tower and then tilts to face the ground before free falling at more than 120km/h.

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