UPDATE: Family of teen who fell to death from ride ‘does not know’ woman claiming to be his cousin

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By Carina Murphy

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UPDATE: Shay Johnson had identified herself as Tyre Sampson's cousin and told multiple publications that the 14-year-old had been turned away from two other rides at ICON park. Tyre's mother has since told authorities she does not know her. 

Nekia Dodd, the late teen's mother, as well as other members of his family, say they do not know who the woman is.

Dodd told Orange County detectives "she does not know who Shay Johnson is," a spokesperson for the sheriff's office told the Sun Sentinel.

Lawyers representing the deceased youngster's family told WFTV that the entire family is unaware of who Johnson is.

ORIGINAL STORY:

The teenager who tragically fell to his death at a Florida theme park was turned away from two rides before his death, his cousin has claimed.

Tyre Sampson fell from the 430-foot Orlando Free Fall ride at ICON park last week. In a video clip that has since been shared on social media, the 14-year-old can be seen dropping to the ground from his seat.

Although 911 callers who witnessed the accident raised doubts over whether Tyre was properly strapped into the ride, an accident report obtained by CNN states that he was secured in his seat. "Harness was still in a down and locked position when the ride stopped," the report read.

However, Tyre's cousin Shay Johnson is raising questions over whether he should have been allowed on the ride at all.

[[twitterwidget||https://twitter.com/AsherWildman13/status/1508622404574195714]]

In an interview with Spectrum News 13, Shay said she dropped Tyre off at the park and that she spoke to him on the phone just moments before he boarded the FreeFall drop attraction.

During the phone call, her 6'5'' cousin told her he had been turned away from the swing ride due to his size.

"He said 'They said I'm too big. I can't ride,'" Shay recalled.

She also said that her cousin was not allowed to get on the SlingShot, before recounting a later phone call in which he said of the Free Fall ride: "They let me ride. I can ride. I can ride."

"I didn't know it would be my last time talking to him alive. He just wanted to ride and have a good time," she added.

The Missouri teen was on vacation with friends through a football programme when he visited the park. His dad Yarnell Sampson gave a heartbreaking account to Fox 35 of his son's final moments, explaining that he didn't feel comfortable on the ride from the start.

[[twitterwidget||https://twitter.com/CBSMiami/status/1508446674485665808]]

"He was panicking when he was going up. That's when he started freaking out, and he was explaining to his friend next to him, 'I don't know man. If I don't make it down, please tell my mom and daddy I love them,'" Yarnell said.

Ride owners SlingShot Group have claimed that, per safety precautions, the ride is only supposed to operate if all riders are secured in their seats.

"The way the ride is designed, with all the safety features and redundancy, there shouldn't be an issue," spokesperson John Stine told CBS News.

Featured Image Credit: VIAVAL / Alamy

UPDATE: Family of teen who fell to death from ride ‘does not know’ woman claiming to be his cousin

vt-author-image

By Carina Murphy

Article saved!Article saved!
UPDATE: Shay Johnson had identified herself as Tyre Sampson's cousin and told multiple publications that the 14-year-old had been turned away from two other rides at ICON park. Tyre's mother has since told authorities she does not know her. 

Nekia Dodd, the late teen's mother, as well as other members of his family, say they do not know who the woman is.

Dodd told Orange County detectives "she does not know who Shay Johnson is," a spokesperson for the sheriff's office told the Sun Sentinel.

Lawyers representing the deceased youngster's family told WFTV that the entire family is unaware of who Johnson is.

ORIGINAL STORY:

The teenager who tragically fell to his death at a Florida theme park was turned away from two rides before his death, his cousin has claimed.

Tyre Sampson fell from the 430-foot Orlando Free Fall ride at ICON park last week. In a video clip that has since been shared on social media, the 14-year-old can be seen dropping to the ground from his seat.

Although 911 callers who witnessed the accident raised doubts over whether Tyre was properly strapped into the ride, an accident report obtained by CNN states that he was secured in his seat. "Harness was still in a down and locked position when the ride stopped," the report read.

However, Tyre's cousin Shay Johnson is raising questions over whether he should have been allowed on the ride at all.

[[twitterwidget||https://twitter.com/AsherWildman13/status/1508622404574195714]]

In an interview with Spectrum News 13, Shay said she dropped Tyre off at the park and that she spoke to him on the phone just moments before he boarded the FreeFall drop attraction.

During the phone call, her 6'5'' cousin told her he had been turned away from the swing ride due to his size.

"He said 'They said I'm too big. I can't ride,'" Shay recalled.

She also said that her cousin was not allowed to get on the SlingShot, before recounting a later phone call in which he said of the Free Fall ride: "They let me ride. I can ride. I can ride."

"I didn't know it would be my last time talking to him alive. He just wanted to ride and have a good time," she added.

The Missouri teen was on vacation with friends through a football programme when he visited the park. His dad Yarnell Sampson gave a heartbreaking account to Fox 35 of his son's final moments, explaining that he didn't feel comfortable on the ride from the start.

[[twitterwidget||https://twitter.com/CBSMiami/status/1508446674485665808]]

"He was panicking when he was going up. That's when he started freaking out, and he was explaining to his friend next to him, 'I don't know man. If I don't make it down, please tell my mom and daddy I love them,'" Yarnell said.

Ride owners SlingShot Group have claimed that, per safety precautions, the ride is only supposed to operate if all riders are secured in their seats.

"The way the ride is designed, with all the safety features and redundancy, there shouldn't be an issue," spokesperson John Stine told CBS News.

Featured Image Credit: VIAVAL / Alamy