The family of a teen killed at the Ohio State Fair when the ride he was on broke apart is preparing to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Tyler Jarrell, 18, was riding the Fire Ball ride on the opening day of the Ohio State Fair in Columbus July 26 when a full row of seats broke off from the swinging arm of the ride. Mr. Jarrell was hurled high into the air and landed about 50 feet from the ride, The Columbus Dispatch reported. He was killed on impact.
Seven others were injured in the ride malfunction. Three of those victims were reported to be in critical condition and the others were in serious condition. Mr. Jarrell’s girlfriend, 19-year-old Keziah Lewis, was among those badly injured, according to the Associated Press. The Columbus Dispatch reported that Ms. Lewis inquired about Mr. Jarrell’s condition in the hospital.
Mr. Jarrell was an explorer with the Columbus Division of Police and had just enlisted with the U.S. Marines Corps days before the fatal accident, NBC 4 Columbus reported. Mr. Jarrell’s funeral July 31 was attended by hundreds wishing to show his family a gesture of concern and respect.
The law firm hired by Mr. Jarrell’s family has retained investigators to reconstruct the malfunction and determine how the ride malfunctioned. The firm said it plans to work with police and other agencies involved in the ongoing investigation.
There is no word yet on what individuals and entities will be named as defendants in the planned suit.
The ride was built by KGM, a manufacturer based in the Netherlands and operated by Amusements of America, a carnival company based in New Jersey. The Ohio Department of Agriculture inspected the ride. Michael Vartorella, chief inspector for amusement ride safety for the agency, told the Columbus Dispatch that the ride had been inspected three or four times over the course of two days.