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Dollywood closes ride after teen’s death in Florida “out of abundance of caution”

Dollywood officials have closed Drop Line, their drop tower ride, after a 14-year-old fell to his death at Orlando amusement park Icon Park.
(WILX)
Published: Mar. 26, 2022 at 4:38 PM EDT
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SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Dollywood officials have closed Drop Line, their drop tower ride, after a 14-year-old fell to his death at Orlando amusement park Icon Park.

Drop Line was manufactured by the same company that made the ride in Florida, Dollywood officials told WVLT News.

We were deeply saddened to hear of the heartbreaking accident at ICON Park in Orlando, Florida. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this unimaginably difficult time.

Although Dollywood does not have the specific ride involved in this tragic incident, the safety of our guests is our top priority. Out of an abundance of caution, and until further details about the accident at ICON Park are known, we have temporarily closed Drop Line, our drop tower ride that was developed by the same manufacturer.

Wes Ramey, Dollywood

The 14-year-old was a rising football player from Missouri. Investigators are looking into whether his size and weight played a role in the incident.

He was 6′5″ and weighed more than 300 pounds, according to officials.

“This young man, he was athletic and he was big. He had no way of knowing,” said Bob Hilliard, a Texas attorney who represents Tyre’s mother, Nekia Dodd, in an interview Saturday. “This is going to be an issue of a lack of supervision and lack of training. A straight-up negligence case.”

The Dollywood ride lifts guests more than 20 stories above their other ride, Dollywood’s Timber Canyon.

The ride provides guests with a bird’s eye view of the Great Smoky Mountains.

“Guests shouldn’t get too comfortable with the commanding vantage point they find high above the ground; however, in an instant, Drop Line plummets them back to the ground in a thrilling rush of excitement,” according to the Dollywood website.

It is unclear how long the ride will remain closed.

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