ORLANDO (CBSMiami/CNN) – The parents of a Missouri teen who fell to his death from an Orlando amusement park ride have hired attorneys.
It happened at ICON Park and the FreeFall drop ride remains closed as investigators continue to look for answers surrounding the death of 14-year-old Tyre Sampson.
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On Saturday, attorneys Ben Crump and Bob Hilliard said they had been hired separately by the boy’s parents.
“The focus of our investigation is going to be on the training of the staff on the ground who may not have secured Tyre before the ride took off,” said Bob Hilliard, an attorney for the Sampson family.
Investigators have not determined what caused Sampson to fall out of the ride, but in a viral video that shows Sampson’s fall, workers can be heard in the moments after discussing safety measures.
“The investigation is also going to include the design of the ride itself. There absolutely should be no way a ride can leave the ground if there is any indication that any one of the passengers is not secured,” said Hilliard.
The Slingshot Group, which operates the ride, said workers are responsible for checking the lights on the restraint system to ensure they are properly secured.
“The ride will not ascend unless those harnesses are locked in. There were no indications there was anything different,” said John Stine, the sales and marketing director for Slingshot Group
Montrey Williams, who was at the park that night, said he was standing in front of the ride the night and noticed the red flags.
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“Nobody walked around to see if everybody was securely, you know, locked in,” he said.
“There have to be redundancies, more than a 16-year-old minimum wage kid walking around checking whether or not your harness works,” said Hilliard.
The Orlando FreeFall takes riders to the top of a 430-foot tower, tilts them face to the ground, and falls at speeds of up to 75 mph, the ICON Park’s website says. Operators call it the world’s tallest freestanding drop tower.
The ride passed a safety inspection in December before it was allowed to open, according to a safety inspection report.
Dollywood has temporarily closed its drop ride attraction. It’s a similar type of ride made by the same manufacturer.
“Although Dollywood does not have the specific ride involved in this tragic incident, the safety of our guests is our top priority. Out of an abundance of caution, and until further details about the accident at ICON Park are known, we have temporarily closed Drop Line, our drop tower ride that was developed by the same manufacturer,” Wes Ramey, Dollywood’s public relations director, said in a statement.
Dollywood’s Drop Line is 20 stories, according to the website of the Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, park.
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