Tyre Sampson’s parents: They are expected to sue

Tyre Sampson tragically passed away after falling off an amusement park ride marginally shorter than the tallest building in Orlando. The ride raises participants 430-ft high and tilts the seats for a few moments to offer riders a view of the drop before cascading down at over 75 mph or more. 

Sampson, an aspiring football player, was rushed to hospital and later declared dead. Amateur videos of the incident have filled the internet, giving his tragic death national attention. 

Tyre leaves behind a devastated family, including parents who didn’t attend a vigil at the ride because they couldn’t bear to see the site of their son’s death. 

Tyre’s father says he learned of the passing via social media

Tyre’s father, Yarnell Sampson, learned of his son’s death via social media videos. A visibly emotional Yarnell told WESH that nothing could alleviate the pain of his son’s death. 

“It felt like somebody hit me so hard in my stomach. I just lost, I lost, lost wind,” Yarnell said. “And the pain behind it could never be taken away, and sorry’s not gonna take it back and no monies, no nothing in the world to replace the young man.”

Yarnell mourned the passing of his young, promising son. “And it’s just sad, a young man’s bright future was taken away from him over a ride, [in] an amusement park,” Sampson said. 

Tyre was a student at the City Garden Montessori School in St. Louis. He was part of the St. Louis Bad Boyz football club, which was in Orlando for a training camp. Members of the club were in the amusement park enjoying rides when the incident happened. 

Tyre, a 6 feet, 5 inches tall, over 300 pound 14-year-old, was already the size of an NFL offensive lineman. He aspired to go pro and help improve the lives of his family members. 

“That was his dream, and he was on his way,” Wendy Wooten, his stepmom, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “He had so many scouts looking at him. He was going to be a great football player.”

Yarnell claims Tyre knew he was in danger as the ride ascended

Yarnell Sampson claims that Tyre knew something was wrong as the ride ascended. “He was panicking when he was going up,” Yarnell told WOFL

“I don’t know man. If I don’t make it down, please tell my Mom and Daddy I love them,” Tyre reportedly told a friend, Yarnell claims. “For him to say something like that, he must have felt something.”

A woman calling 911 following the incident told the operator that Sampson wasn’t secured prior to the fall. “They didn’t secure the seatbelt on him,” the woman said. The caller added that no one could perform CPR on Tyre as he’d landed on his stomach.

Sampson also questioned why operators allowed his huge son on the ride. “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!” Yarnell said. 

“This should never happen to anyone else’s child ever again,” he added. “If I have anything to do with this, it will not happen ever again.”

Sampson’s parents have hired lawyers to potentially sue the people responsible for their son’s death

Sampson’s parents have hired renowned personal injury attorneys Ben Crump and Bob Hilliard to represent them. Ben Crump, Yarnell’s attorney, shared the following statement via Twitter:

“The family is shocked and heartbroken at the loss of their son. This young man was the kind of son ever parent hopes for – an honor roll student, an aspiring athlete, and a kind-hearted person who cared about others. Needless to say, his family is absolutely devastated.”

Bob Hilliard represents Sampson’s mom, Nekia Dodd. He told KDSK that Tyre had no way of knowing that he was strapped onto a compromised ride. “This is going to be an issue of lack of supervision and lack of training,” Hilliard said. “A straight-up negligence case.”

CBS News reports that the ride’s manufacturer stated that the maximum weight for riders on the fateful ride should be 286 pounds. AJ Jones, Tyre’s football coach, told WKMG-TV that Sampson weighed 320 pounds. 

The manufacturers also advise that if a large person doesn’t fit into the seat, the operators shouldn’t let them ride. Manuel Bojorquez of CBS News reported that the accident report stated that Tyre’s harness was still locked when the ride stopped. 

Experts watching the video of the tragedy stated that the restraint system wasn’t properly fastened. “It should have been a closed circuit,” the experts said. “I see a patron in an amusement ride and that over the shoulder restraint system is not properly affixed.”

Having hired Ben Crump and Bob Hilliard, it’s widely expected that Tyre Sampson’s parents will sue. However, John Ammann, a Professor of Emeritus at SLU School of Law, thinks that the parties will settle:

“My guess is that it will settle very quickly. It could even settle without a lawsuit. But if there’s a lawsuit even after that, it’ll settle very quickly. Ninety-eight percent of civil cases settle, and this is no different than most cases from that standpoint.

Tyre’s family has asked for the permanent closure of the ill-fated ride

Sampson’s cousin, Shay Johnson, has led efforts to have the ill-fated ride permanently closed. She told KSDK she didn’t understand why the operators led him on the ride after preventing him from riding the swing and slingshot. Shay said:

“He really wanted to ride the swing, and they told him that he was too big. Then he said he went to the slingshot and they told him he’s too big for that, but y’all did not let him get on those two but y’all let him get on that one being overweight.”

On behalf of Tyre’s family, Shay has started a petition to close the ride. “I would like this ride to be taken down,” she told FOX35 Orlando. “My cousin lost his life over this ride. I don’t feel it’s safe, and feel it should be shut down before someone else’s family have to go through what we are going through.”

Netizens have sent condolences, while others have traveled to Orlando to support the family. “Had me happy to see a lot of people come and half of these people don’t even know him,” Shay told News 6.

The ride remains close as inspectors try to determine what caused the accident. SlingShot Group, the ride’s operators, said: “We are heartbroken with the incident that took the life of one of our guests. We extend our condolences and deepest sympathy to his family and friends.”

Spread the love