In a new interview with CBS News, Nekia Dodd is calling the death of her son Tyre Sampson who fell to his death from an amusement park ride last month, “murder.”
Dodd recounted getting the news that her 14-year-old had died. “I'm like, it's a movie. I'm thinking I'm in a movie. Am I dreaming?" she said. "I mean, worst nightmare ever. You see your child on a vacation with family and friends, and he didn't return from a vacation. That's, oh, that's gruesome. That's horrible."
She added, “He didn't deserve this. He did not deserve this.” Dodd said that the last time she saw her son, he told her that he would see her the following weekend. "It came out as a tragic accident. It's not an accident," Dodd said. "My personal opinion, it's murder."
As previously reported, Sampson’s parents—Dodd and the boy’s father Yarnell Sampson have filed a wrongful death lawsuit accusing ICON Park and the operator and manufacturer of the Free Fall drop tower of negligence.
The suit alleges that the ride was “unreasonably dangerous,” according to USA Today, and also asserts that the defendants “owed a duty to its customers, including Plaintiffs’ decedent, TYRE SAMPSON, to exercise reasonable care in operating, managing, maintaining, designing, inspecting, constructing, testing, fixing, and/or controlling the amusement park rides located on its premises, including the subject Free Fall amusement park ride.”
Dodd and her attorney, Michael Haggard, said that there were no warning signs warning that Sampson who reportedly weighed 380 pounds, should not have been allowed on the ride, which, according to the manufacturer, had a maximum weight of 287 pounds.
A report from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services found that the seat where Sampson was seated had been manually adjusted in a way that rendered it “unsafe.”