Florida Ride Operator Injured After Being Trapped by Ride at County Fair

A ride operator sustained serious injuries after being caught in a ride at the county fair in Clay County, Florida Friday. After police freed Davontai Lee, 28, from the right, he was rushed to a nearby hospital. Viral video shows Lee caught in the ride's platform from the waist down.

Lee was trapped in the ride for about 15 minutes, police told First Coast News. Lee was caught in the ride after trying to retrieve someone's property. After he was pulled from the platform, he was hospitalized. Lee declined to do an interview, but he told First Coast News he was still in pain Saturday. The ride itself remains operational, and the ride did not malfunction.

"The man went down to get another person's hat, and I guess the floors or whatever had went down on him and pinned him in," Keirra Peterson, whose daughter Aurelia Smith filmed the incident with her phone, told First Coast News. Peterson said witnesses could hear Lee screaming for help. "I didn't really expect that. I never thought that since that boy the other week that fell off that ride," Peterson said. "I didn't think I would experience another ride misfunction."

The accident Peterson referred to happened in late March in Orlando. Tyre Sampson of Missouri died at ICON Park after he fell from the Orlando FreeFall ride. The 14-year-old died from "multiple injuries and trauma," according to the Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services' accident report. Sampson's family believes he may have been too large to ride the attraction safely. His father told CNN Sampson was 340 pounds and 6'5" tall. The maximum passenger weight for the ride is 130 kilograms or about 287 pounds.

Sampson's funeral was held at Saint Louis University in St. Louis Friday, reports KSDK. "There's a lot of love here," family friend Kelly Southhall said. "There's a lot of support. No mother should have to go through this."


Florida officials are still investigating Sampson's death, and the operation of the FreeFall ride was suspended. "As the landlord of the 20-acre entertainment destination in the center of the Orlando Entertainment District, ICON Park's mission is to provide safe, family entertainment," ICON Park said in a statement. "We continue to grieve the passing of Tyre Sampson, and our thoughts are with his family and friends. This was the saddest day in the history of ICON Park, and we're working hard to make sure this never happens again."