Officials say safety sensor on teen’s harness had been manually adjusted

Florida officials gave an update Monday on the investigation into a teen’s death at ICON Park. Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Nikki Fried held a press conference to provide an update on the ongoing FDACS investigation into the Free Fall incident that resulted in the death of 14-year-old Tire Sampson. Quest Engineering has finalized a field investigation report that answers what technically took place, but the next phase of the investigation will focus on how and why, Fried said. The field investigation confirmed the ride operator made manual adjustments to the ride harness that resulted in it being unsafe. Investigators determined the safety sensor on Sampson’s seat on the ride was manually adjusted for his size, allowing double the opening for the seat restraint.According to Rep. Geraldine Thompson, there were two seats on the drop tower that “larger” riders were assigned to. The safety sensors on those two seats were manually adjusted so the restraint could be open wider and the safety sensor would still show they were locked in.The drop tower will remain closed indefinitely.Sampson fell to his death from the ride last month, raising questions about employee training and the design and operation of the ride. Fried announced earlier this month that her Division of Consumer Services hired a forensic engineering firm to assist in the investigation of the accident. job. It’s the same firm that was hired in 2018 to investigate the Sandblaster roller coaster in Daytona Beach when that ride derailed.“We are going to do everything in our power, including potentially increasing our power, to make sure that something like this never happens again ,” Fried said.Quest experts are paying especially close attention to the seats where a shoulder harness is supposed to keep riders in their seats on the 430-foot tall ride.The engineers are using sophisticated 3D laser scanners to reconstruct the ride creating 360- degree pictures that will later be analyzed for clues.One major contributor might be something as simple as a sign that should have been posted by the ticket window.While the signs limit shorter riders from climbing aboard, there is no mention of weight.WESH 2 Investigates previously reported that the ride maker, Funtime, recommended a maximum rider weight of 287 pounds.RELATED: Deadly ICON Park accident: Investigation into Free Fall reveals ride lacks sea tbelts, has unique safety measuresTyre’s family said the boy weighed more than 300 pounds.

Florida officials gave an update Monday on the investigation into a teen’s death at ICON Park.

Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Nikki Fried held a press conference to provide an update on the ongoing FDACS investigation into the Free Fall incident that resulted in the death of 14-year-old Tire Sampson.

Quest Engineering has finalized a field investigation report that answers what technically took place, but the next phase of the investigation will focus on how and why, Fried said.

The field investigation confirmed the ride operator made manual adjustments to the ride harness that resulted in it being unsafe.

Investigators determined the safety sensor on Sampson’s seat on the ride was manually adjusted for his size, allowing double the opening for the seat restraint.

According to Rep. Geraldine Thompson, there were two seats on the drop tower that “larger” riders were assigned to. The safety sensors on those two seats were manually adjusted so the restraint could be open wider and the safety sensor would still show they were locked in.

The drop tower will remain closed indefinitely.

Sampson fell to his death from the ride last month, raising questions about employee training and the design and operation of the ride.

Fried announced earlier this month that her Division of Consumer Services hired a forensic engineering firm to assist in the investigation of the accident.

WESH 2 EXCLUSIVE: Man who filmed teen’s deadly fall from FreeFall describes horrific ICON Park accident

Quest Engineering out of Tallahassee was tapped for the job. It’s the same firm that was hired in 2018 to investigate the Sandblaster roller coaster in Daytona Beach when that ride derailed.

“We are going to do everything in our power, including potentially increasing our power, to make sure that something like this never happens again,” Fried said.

Quest experts are paying especially close attention to the seats where a shoulder harness is supposed to keep riders in their seats on the 430-foot tall ride.

The engineers are using sophisticated 3D laser scanners to reconstruct the ride creating 360-degree pictures that will later be analyzed for clues.

One major contributor might be something as simple as a sign that should have been posted by the ticket window.

While the signs limit shorter riders from climbing aboard, there is no mention of weight.

WESH 2 Investigates previously reported that the ride maker, Funtime, recommended a maximum rider weight of 287 pounds.

RELATED: Deadly ICON Park accident: Investigation into Free Fall reveals ride lacks seatbelts, has unique safety measures

Tyre’s family said the boy weighed more than 300 pounds.

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