ORLANDO (CBSMiami) – A new report suggests that Missouri teen Tyre Sampson’s fatal fall from an Orlando amusement-park ride in March came after manual adjustments had been made to sensors on two of the ride’s seats.
The report is from Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried.READ MORE: Commissioners Approve $2 Million Insurance Settlement In Surfside Condo Collapse
“This report confirmed our department’s findings that an operator of the Orlando Drop Tower made manual adjustments to the ride, resulting in it being unsafe,” Fried said during a news conference.
Forensic engineering firm Quest Engineering and Failure Analysis, Inc., determined that components of the ride showed no evidence of “physical or mechanical failure.” Instead, a modification was made that allowed Sampson’s safety harness to remain open wider than the manufacturer intended.
“This report answers the question of what mechanically took place as our investigation now enters into the next phase of how and why it occurred as we look toward potential penalties along with any changes of rules and regulations needed to help prevent future tragedies.”READ MORE: Potential Summer Surge Has Health Experts Urging Vulnerable People To Get 2nd COVID Booster
Fried says these misadjustments allowed the safety lights to illuminate, improperly satisfying the ride’s electronic safety mechanism that allowed the ride to operate even though Sampson was not properly secured in his seat.
“We will be back as soon as we get more information. We’re going to make sure that we are transparent, we are accountable and that we are taking this obviously very seriously,” Fried said.
Tyre Sampson, a 14-year-old from Missouri, died after falling from the 430-foot tower drop on March 24 at Orlando’s ICON Park.MORE NEWS: Ryder Trauma Center’s Medical Director Visits Ukraine To Train Physicians Dealing With Collateral Damage Of Russian Invasion
Officials say these are not the only contributing factors to the accident. Given those concerns, Fried says the Drop Tower will remain closed indefinitely.