Florida driving accident: Sensors were set on a ride at Orlando’s ICON Park where a teenager fell to his death

ORLANDO, Fla. — Sensors at a Florida amusement park had been manually adjusted to double the size of the seat belt opening on two seats, resulting in a 14-year-old boy not being properly restrained before slipping out and falling on his Death, according to an initial report released Monday by outside engineers.

The average opening for seat belts at the 131-meter-long free-fall amusement park in the heart of Orlando’s tourist district was 8.3 centimeters. However, the restraint opening for the seat used by Tire Sampson was 7.1 inches (18 centimeters) and that for another seat was 6.5 inches (16.5 centimeters), according to the report commissioned by the Florida Department of Agriculture that investigated the accident.

VIDEO: Witness narrates moments after teenage boy falls to his death from amusement park ride in Florida

Sampson was only 14 but already 6 feet 5 inches tall (195 centimeters) and well over 300 pounds (136 kilograms) when he slipped out of his seat as the vehicle accelerated at 75 mph (about 121 km/h) or fell to the ground more.

An inspection of the seats revealed that sensors used to activate the safety lights on the two seats, indicating that the seat belts were in place, had been adjusted to allow for the wider openings. As the ride slowed, Sampson slipped through a gap between the seat and the seat belt, the report said.

“The cause of the accident involved was that Tire Sampson was not properly secured in the seat primarily due to a misalignment of the harness’ proximity sensors,” according to the Quest Engineering and Failure Analysis, Inc. report.

The Orlando Free Fall ride, which is taller than the Statue of Liberty, had no electrical or mechanical failures, the report said.

The report’s release marks the initial stages of the investigation into the teenager’s death, and “we’re far from done,” Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried said at a news conference in Orlando.

The report said there were many other “potential contributors” to the accident and that a full review of the ride’s design and operation was needed.

RELATED: Who Regulates Theme Parks? Questions raised after the boy’s death

The video shown above is from a previous report.

Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Florida driving accident: Sensors were set on a ride at Orlando’s ICON Park where a teenager fell to his death

Dais Johnston

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