ORLANDO, Fla. - The family who took Tyre Sampson to ICON Park the night he died spoke exclusively to FOX 35 News about the tragedy.
"Even though it wasn’t my brother, it still feels that way. I still experienced it that way. That experience, that’s never going to go away. You know what I’m saying? It’s so heartbreaking," said Tyre Sampson’s family friend, Dior Moore.
It was her family that took Sampson with them on a family trip to Orlando last week, the trip that included that visit to ICON Park. Dior said her brother was on the ride, sitting next to Sampson the night he fell to his death.
Her mother, Kelly Ross, was Facetiming with her as it happened. Kelly spoke to FOX 35 but did not want to show her face on camera. "I said’ Tyre, you go and sit and see if you can fit,’ and that’s what he did, and they said that he could fit," said Ross.
She said from her angle, Tyre appeared secure and didn’t seem squished. "The operators didn’t say that ‘no, we think this is going to be a problem.’ They didn’t question anything. He tapped on it, and I thought that it was okay."
Now she says she lives with a lot of guilt for taking Tyre on this trip and not bringing him home safe. Her message to parents: "Check, be safe, feel okay and comfortable with the situation."
Describing Tyre, Moore said he’s "Just a good kid, always having a good time, always smiling, a gentleman, very sweet."
The family is back home in St. Louis now. They have a balloon release for Tyre planned for Thursday for his close friends, family and teammates.