Entertainment And News

Video Of 14-Year-Old Boy Falling To His Death From Ride At Orlando Theme Park Branded ‘Insensitive’

Photo: YES Market Media / Shutterstock / Instagram
ICON Park, Orlando

A 14-year-old boy has died after falling from a "Free Fall" ride at ICON Park in Orlando, Florida.

The boy, who has been identified as Tyre Sampson, was visiting from Missouri with his friend's family when the incident occurred on Thursday night at around 11 p.m.

Reportedly, the ride featured a pull-over harness that’s typical for amusement park rides, except this one hadn’t been fastened all the way and there was no secondary seatbelt as there should have been.

Online, a video taken by a bystander showing the moments before and after the fall has been shared widely — but to a mixed response.

Social media users branded the video of the teen death at Orlando's ICON Park 'insensitive.'

In one Facebook post alone, the video has been viewed 1 million times and shared over 6,000 times and doesn't appear to be slowing down on the platform despite criticism.

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Orange County Sherrif's Office confirmed that attempts have been made to remove the video across a range of platforms but it appears each deleted video gives rise to more reuploads.

In a world in which the internet has opened up our eyes to many previously-unimaginable traumas, the popularity of this video shows just how insensitive we have become to human lives.

To be able to watch someone's son die from your phone or laptop screen is utterly appalling.

Videos of the tragic incident are spreading across the internet despite pleas to remove them.

On Facebook, one video of the incident is flagged for sensitive content, meaning that either Facebook itself has reviewed the footage, it was reported as such, or the technology failed, however, when you press “Learn More” to see their community guidelines, the video doesn’t follow them.

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The guidelines explicitly state that they remove videos that don’t follow their “Community Standards,” things like “death, wounds or someone’s life being threatened."

That’s exactly what happens in the video that Facebook allowed to be shared on their site.

Reddit seems to fit a similar bill, except they have an 18+ check that simply requires you to press “yes” if you are (or say you are) 18 years old, and they’re a little more lenient on what’s allowed on the platform.

These rules and regulations leave too much room for individual lives to be disrespected.

Social media videos depicting death are known to retraumatize families.

These “snuff videos” have been widely criticized by the families of the people they show.

In 2015, news reporter Alison Parker and photojournalist Adam Ward were shot on a live news segment they were filming in Moneta, Virginia.

Parker’s father, Andy, had always done his best to remove the footage from the internet — staying in contact with major platforms, trying to take the rights from the news station who owned the footage, even turning the video into an NFT to try and put his digital signature on it.

He has spoken at length about the profound lasting impact he has felt from the existence of these videos.

Unfortunately, the video of Alison’s death remains on the internet, much like the one of this 14-year-old boy.

For now, ICON Park's Free Fall ride remains under investigation.

ICON Park’s Free Fall ride was the tallest of its kind in the world, reaching 430 feet into the air and dropping at speeds higher than 75 mph.

Following the teenager’s death, an investigation into what occurred has begun as authorities hope to figure out what caused him to fall out of his chair.

Reports say that the ride leans you forward about 30 degrees towards the ground, that it doesn’t have a secondary safety seat belt, and that the teenager’s harness didn’t look like it was fastened all the way. 

In the video, someone can be heard saying “check the seatbelt on the left side” before the ride goes up, but nobody did.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is a writer who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Follow him on Twitter here.

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