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TIMELINE: The investigation into teen's deadly fall from Orlando thrill ride

An accident report shows 14-year-old Tyre Sampson exceeded weight and size restrictions for the Orlando FreeFall ride, but he was allowed to ride.
Credit: tephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel via AP
The Orlando Free Fall drop tower in ICON Park in Orlando is pictured on Monday, March 28, 2022. Tyre Sampson, 14, was killed when he fell from the ride late Thursday evening. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel via AP)

ORLANDO, Fla. — Investigators are continuing to work to determine what caused a 14-year-old visiting from out of state to fall to his death from a thrill ride in Orlando. 

No criminal charges have yet to be filed in Tyre Sampson's death after authorities determined it was a tragic accident when he fell from the Orlando FreeFall ride at ICON Park on March 24. 

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will investigate the ride's safety measures and what may have contributed to the accident. 

So far, documents released, including an accident report, outline how Sampson fell out of his seat while it was in a "down and locked" position. The accident report showed Sampson exceeded the ride's weight and size restrictions.

Here's a timeline of what we know regarding the investigation into Sampson's death: 

March 29, 2022: Accident report released

The accident report outlining Sampson's deadly March 24 fall says the seat the 14-year-old sat in was in a "down and locked" position. 

It was one of several documents released by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) as part of its investigation into the Orlando FreeFall's safety. 

According to the accident report, Sampson fell out of his seat when the magnets of the ride engaged. The FreeFall ride was also reported to be "coming down the tower" at the time of the accident.

"[The] harness was still in a down and locked position when the ride stopped," the report reads.

According to the lawyer representing Sampson's family, the teen stood 6-feet, 5-inches tall, and weighed more than 300 pounds.

In the thrill ride's Operations and Maintenance Manual — to which it must adhere — the "maximum passenger weight" and size restrictions are outlined as being 130kg which equates to roughly 287 pounds. 

The manual also states to "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."

You can learn more about what the report uncovered here. 

March 28, 2022: Vigil held in Orlando

UPDATE: The family of Tyre Sampson has since said they do not know a woman captured in the pictures below who is claiming to be the teen's cousin. Learn more here.

Family members of Sampson and supporters looking to offer their condolences gathered for a vigil for the 14-year-old in Orlando.

WKMG reports the event was organized by Orlando-based nonprofit Building Generations of Hope.

“We’re sending prayers all the way here for you we (are) praying (for) strength. I know it’s hard, but just know God is right there by your side,” one person told the CBS affiliate.

Balloons were also released in Sampson's honor, and those in attendance were reported to have shouted "we love you Tyre."

March 28, 2022: ICON Park calls for two rides to temporarily stop running

Orlando's ICON Park says it is "demanding" the SlingShot Group suspend operations of two rides following Sampson's death.

"ICON Park formally notified the owner of the Orlando FreeFall, the SlingShot Group, demanding suspension not only of the operation of Orlando FreeFall but also the operation of Orlando SlingShot, effective immediately, until the attractions are proven to be safe by authorities," ICON Park wrote in a statement.

The park said the ask was made in the interest of public safety because it relies on the SlingShot Group, as its tenant, "to be experts at what they do."

March 27, 2022: Dollywood closes its free-fall ride

"Out of an abundance of caution," Dollywood announced it would temporarily close its Drop Line ride developed by the same maker of the Orlando Freefall. 

“Although Dollywood does not have the specific ride involved in this tragic incident, the safety of our guests is our top priority,” Dollywood said in a statement.

March 26, 2022: Teen's family attorneys release statements

Lawyers representing Sampson's family say they want to know if negligence about his size, or other factors, played a role.

“This young man, he was athletic and he was big. He had no way of knowing,” said Bob Hilliard, a Texas attorney who represents Tyre's mother, Nekia Dodd, in an interview Saturday. “This is going to be an issue of a lack of supervision and lack of training. A straight-up negligence case."

Well-known civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who is working with Hilliard and represents Tyre's father, Yarnell Sampson, said the family is “shocked and heartbroken at the loss of their son.”

“This young man was the kind of son everyone hopes for — an honor roll student, an aspiring athlete, and a kind-hearted person who cared about others,” Crump said in a statement Saturday.

The statements come as investigators continue to look into the Orlando FreeFall's safety and how such a tragic accident could have occurred.

March 25, 2022: Orange County Sheriff releases details in teen's death

The Orange County Sheriff's Office announces the death of Sampson, who was visiting from out of state with a friend's family, appeared to have been a tragic accident.

“Our prayers and our thoughts are with the family and we can’t imagine what they’re going through," Sheriff John Mina said. 

Sheriff Mina added that operations with the ride appeared to be "normal" but that the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is tasked with investigating the ride's safety. Interviews with witnesses and employees in addition to video are being used in the sheriff's office's ongoing investigation.

According to the sheriff's office, riders are strapped into the ride by a “large locking device” that goes over their shoulders.

In a statement, ICON Park said, in part, that the owner of the attraction was cooperating with authorities and that the ride would be closed during the investigation.

"The Orlando FreeFall will be closed pending a full investigation. Other businesses at ICON Park are scheduled to be open during their normal business hours," ICON Park said, in part.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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