On Monday a team of forensic engineers hired by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services concluded that the standout football star Tyre Sampson had slid out of the harness feet first, sliding over the seat horn that sat between his legs.
The gap between his harness and the top of the seat horn was 6-7 inches, they found. Other seats had a gap averaging 3.33 inches.
State-of-the-art sensors monitoring the three-month-old ride would normally have alerted operators to the fact that the gap was abnormally large.
The investigators believe the sensor had been modified to ensure Sampson could ride. Sampson technically should not have been on the ride, he was 6’5 and 340 pounds, while the manual says there should not be riders over 286 pounds.
A State Representative in Florida made the comment that the seats had been adjusted to allow larger riders.
At a press conference Rep. Geraldine Thompson said the adjustments were made ‘presumably, to allow for larger riders, which should not have happened based on the manufacturer’s guidelines’.
These findings put all the weight of the investigation back on the owners of the ride. It should never had been adjusted. It was just a matter of time before a person would have fallen to their death.
At the end of the day, it is such a tragic situation. Tyre Sampson had a bright future and someone is responsible for his death. Please keep the family in your prayers during this tough and tragic time.