COLUMBUS, Ohio (FOX19) - New rules are in place regarding ride inspections at the Ohio State Fair after a deadly ride malfunction in 2017 led to an increased focus on safety.
Officials with the Ohio Department of Agriculture are preparing to begin inspecting rides at the fair starting Monday. Their job is to make sure all of the rides are operating safely.
Safety has been a major focus since an accident at the fair two years ago led to the death of 18-year-old Tyler Jarrell.
The “fireball” ride broke apart on July 26, 2017, despite passing several safety inspections days before. The company that created it — KMG — later revealed that a rusty, corroded support beam is what caused the ride to malfunction.
Investigators said that Jarrell died at the scene from blunt force trauma to the head. Seven others were injured, including Jarrell’s girlfriend Keziah Lewis, a University of Cincinnati student and member of the a Capella group Vocaholics.
There is a new ride vendor in place and new rules laid out. House Bill 189, which passed this year, requires that the state have a minimum number of inspectors and inspections. It also mandates that amusement parks have manuals for each ride and photograph all repairs.
Ride inspections for this year’s fair begin Monday.
Jennifer Lambert, 19, was also on the fireball when the incident happened in 2017 and died in 2018 from liver failure.
Although authorities have said her death may not have been directly linked to what happened at the fair that year, her attorney said that she did have a traumatic brain injury because of the incident and was in long term care up until her death.
The Ohio State Fair kicks off July 24.