March 29, 2022 – 12:37 p.m Clock
by Ulrich Vonstein
After the terrible death of 14-year-old Tire in the US state of Florida, his father Yarnell Simpson is now speaking. “I want to know what really happened,” he said after seeing videos on social media of what is said to be his son falling from the 400-foot Orlando Free Fall. Authorities believe it is “a terrible tragedy,” according to Orange County Sheriff John Mina.
“He was a big teddy bear, a gentle giant”
Yarnell Simpson struggles to keep his composure as he speaks to US broadcaster CNN about his son. He was a “good young man”. “He was a big teddy bear, a gentle giant,” he describes the boy who loved playing football and dreamed of a great career. “Tyre was a kind-hearted child, he would have given his last shirt for others,” says his father with tears in his eyes.
As he watches the video, which is said to show the last moments before his boy’s death, he can’t believe what he’s seeing. “My life has stopped,” he describes the terrible moment. “I want to know what really happened. Why a 14-year-old young man with a bright future was taken away from us,” he says.
Circumstances of Tire’s death are to be officially clarified
A future that might have made Tire a great athlete. He played football in the youth team of the “Bad Boyz” from St. Louis, together with his comrades he visited the amusement park in Florida. He’d been so excited to start high school this fall and have a career on the football team.
“I really believed he would be the ‘next big thing’ to come out of St. Louis,” says Yarnell Simpson. He was physically tall, says his stepmother Wendy Wooten. “But at heart he was just a big kid.”
Video: 14-year-old falls out of the ride and dies
The circumstances of Tire’s death should now be officially clarified. Orange County Sheriff John Mina says it was a tragic accident. The Florida Department of Agriculture and consumer advocates are investigating whether there have been any safety issues with the ride, he says.
According to the operator, the “Orlando Free Fall” has been in operation for three months and there have never been any problems. Tire was secured by a seat belt while driving, a spokesman said. The ride is closed until further notice. “We are devastated by what happened to our young guest,” the spokesman continued. The company wants to “find out what happened to this young man.”