An accident occurred at the Ohio State Fair on Wednesday, July 26th leaving one victim dead and three in critical condition. The accident that injured the riders is compared to that of a high-speed motor vehicle crash with an ejection.
Residents are drawn to amusement parks and county fairs for their thrilling rides, candy apples, and a fun time out with friends and family. Fairs have been around for years now, popping up in various locations across the nation for everyone to enjoy. One state fair was recently set up in Columbus, Ohio, although it was quickly shut down just hours after it had opened to locals.
The Ohio State Fair was opened to anyone who wanted to bask in the excitement the fair offers on Wednesday, but at 7:19 p.m., the excitement quickly took a horrific turn into the direction of tragedy. A freak accident occurred leaving one dead and seven injured. Riders who were brave enough to attempt the Fireball ride, which is said to “swing passengers 40 feet above the midway while spinning at 13 revolutions per minute” malfunctioned causing a part of it carrying riders to break off. [Source: Huffington Post].
Huffington Post shared the graphic footage where you can see a section of the ride breaking apart and passengers being thrown into the air. Those who were injured ranged from age 13 to 41 years old. One of the victims was only 18 years old and was thrown almost 50 feet away from the ride where he died on impact. The 18-year old has been identified as Tyler Jarrell and had just enlisted in the Marines five days prior to attending the fair [Source: Daily Mail]. The other unfortunate victims involved in the accident were ejected nearly 30 feet in the air, some injured badly and others in critical condition.
Ohio Governor John Kasich, the Ohio Department of Agriculture, and other agencies are looking further into this incident to determine why the accident occurred considering that the chief fair ride inspector had a four-person crew inspect the Fireball ride before giving it the “okay.” The chief also mentioned that his own family rides the equipment so his “guys do not rush through this stuff” [Source: CNN]. Regardless of that, inspectors should never rush through when inspecting equipment that could potentially harm others.
Although the inspection of the fair rides was delayed because of rain, the fair was still opened and began operating in full force. The Fireball was said to not have any issues nor did it fail the inspection.
Are fair rides thoroughly inspected before opening to the public?
This is definitely something personal injury attorneys in Ohio are going to look into when elected to represent these victims as it could play a large role in getting a personal injury lawsuit filed. With one death and seven injuries, the families are sure to take legal action against the fair.
In the state of Ohio, fair ride inspections are handled by the Ohio Department of Agriculture, however, Amusements of America is the carnival company in charge of the fair’s rides. Amusements of America is a “New-Jersey-based traveling carnival company with a route that stretches from Miami to New York” and has “held the Guinness World Record for largest traveling carnival in the U.S” according to Huffington Post. Amusements of America has catered to those who enjoy carnivals and fairs since the early 1940’s.
But, because different agencies are responsible for these rides, it is easy to overlook an inspection or assume that one agency has given the approval for the rides to operate. This is definitely something personal injury lawyers need to address as there may have been an oversight which led to the equipment becoming defective.
The Ohio State Fair accident is being described as “the worst tragedy in the history of the fair.” We can expect more details to surface as to why this ride malfunctioned and what could have caused it to do so.