A ride built by the same company that manufactured the Orlando FreeFall at ICON Park has been demolished.
Tragedy struck the Orlando FreeFall several weeks ago when 14-year-old Tyre Sampson fell from his seat the attraction. Sampson’s family has since filed a lawsuit against more than a dozen defendants, including The SlingShot Group, ICON Park, ride manufacturers Funtime Handels GmbH and Gerstlauer Amusement Rides GmbH, and construction company Keator Construction.
Now, it seems an attraction nearly 1,000 miles away from Orlando that was built by Funtime Handels has seen its end.
Reddit user U/Jaded-Imagination-60 recently shared a photo showing that the SlingShot at Kings Island in Mason, Ohio has been completely taken down.
SlingShot, Kings Island has been removed from the park and is no longer listed on the park’s website.
As you can see in the screenshot below, the SlingShot– which was a separately-ticketed attraction located in Kings Island– has been marked as “permanently closed” by the theme park.
There has been no confirmation from Kings Island on if the closure of the attraction is related to the tragedy that unfolded on the Orlando FreeFall or not.
The lawsuit filed by Sampson’s family alleges negligence on the part of several defendants. It also states that SlingShot Group manipulated safety sensors on a couple of the ride’s harnesses and did not post the attraction’s weight or height limits at its entrance. An operating manual from the Orlando FreeFall states that the maximum rider weight for the attraction was just over 286 pounds. Sampson weighed over 350 pounds.
They say the ride attendants failed to notify Tyre of any such limitations or check his restraints properly. In addition, Sampson’s parents say the ride was unsafe due to manufacturing and design defects and should have included seatbelts.
“The defendants in Tyre’s case showed negligence in a multitude of ways. One of the most glaring examples was failing to provide a $22 seatbelt on a ride that cost several million dollars to construct,” Attorney Ben Crump said a statement. “They didn’t, and their poor decisions resulted in deadly consequences for a promising young man and lifelong pain for his family.”
After the incident, ICON Park demanded that SlingShot Group– the company that operates Orlando FreeFall– cease operations of both the FreeFall and the Orlando SlingShot. Protests have been held outside the attraction pushing for it to be taken down and the family has announced that it plans to file a lawsuit.
As the investigation is ongoing, the incident has made theme parks across the country and legislators alike to take a hard look at safety measures for Guests. In Tennessee, Dollywood closed its drop tower attraction, Drop Line, out of an abundance of caution because the ride was made by the same manufacturer that constructed Orlando FreeFall.
In addition, many Florida lawmakers are looking to make changes that would affect theme parks across the state, including Walt Disney World Resort and the Disney Parks, Universal Orlando Resort which includes Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure, SeaWorld Orlando, Legoland, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and many more.
There have also been petitions started to take down the Orlando FreeFall in ICON Park.
What do you think of the decision to demolish the SlingShot ride at Kings Island? Let us know in the comments.