Orlando Slingshot, the owner of the FreeFall ride that claimed the life of Tyre Sampson, will donate $100,000 to an athlete fund established in his honor.
The donation was announced Friday, which marked one year since the 14-year-old football player fell to his death while riding the amusement park ride. An investigation found that many errors contributed to his death. Sampson was over the weight and height limit and was not properly strapped into the FreeFall when the ride rose into the air. As it came down, Sampson fell 430 feet to his death. The entire ordeal was captured on cell phone footage.
Trevor Arnold, the attorney representing Orlando Slingshot, said they’d be distributing $20,000 over five years to the Tyre “Big Tick” Sampson Foundation. The non-profit was established by Sampson’s mother, Nekia Dodd, to support youth athletic programs.
“We know this donation is a very small gesture compared to the unexplainable tragic loss of Tyre one year ago today. But, it is our hope that this contribution will bring some comfort to Tyre’s family and serve as a positive reminder of Tyre for those student-athletes it supports,” Arnold wrote in a statement on behalf of Orlando Slingshot.
On Friday, Sampson’s family gathered at the site where he perished and released balloons in his honor. Sampson’s father, Yarnell, stated that while he is pleased the ride was being taken down, the location serves as a reminder of what his son went through and the overwhelming grief. Yarnell is now working on a separate scholarship in his son’s honor.