ORLANDO, Fla. - A father wants to know why his child died while visiting an Orlando amusement ride.
Yarnell Sampson said his 14-year-old son, Tyre, was visiting Orlando from St. Louis through a football program. He just wanted the kids to have fun and never expected this tragedy to occur.
Tyre tragically fell to his death while on the Orlando Free Fall drop tower at Orlando's ICON Park on Thursday night.
"He was panicking when he was going up," Sampson says his son was on the Orlando Free Fall ride at ICON Park with two of his best friends. "When the ride took off, that’s when he was feeling uncomfortable. He was like, ‘What’s going on?’ That’s when he started freaking out, and he was explaining to his friend next to him, ‘I don’t know man. If I don’t make it down, please tell my Mom and Daddy I love them.’ For him to say something like that, he must have felt something."
He said his son was 6 feet, 5 inches tall, and weighed 340 pounds.
"This one particular ride said, ‘We can take you, come on! Get on!’ 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!"
He said they should have stopped the ride. He wants answers.
"This should never happen to anyone else's child ever again, and if I have anything to do with this, it will not happen ever again."
He said Tyre had an amazing future.
"Fourteen-year-old young man. He was an honor roll student. The young man had a bright future."
He said he played football because he wanted to make his dad proud and had hopes of playing in the NFL.
"Last season, they had a good football season. Went to nationals. Could have been a recruiting trip – wasn’t sure? It was something in that nature," he explained. "He was a team player. He was the type of young man that’d take the shirt off his back and give it to you."
As the Orange County Sheriff's Office investigates the death, Sampson also said that it took 10 minutes for an ambulance to arrive at the scene at ICON Park.
We have reached out to Orange County Fire Rescue for answers.