The family of Tyler Jarrell, the 18-year-old who died when a ride at the Ohio State Fair malfunctioned last month, is filing a wrongful death claim.
On the opening night of the Ohio State Fair on Thursday, July 27, a rotating and swinging ride known as “The Fireball” with six arm-like appendages fell apart and appeared to scrape the ground at times. A seat that held four riders went off into the air, and two people went sent flying. One victim was Tyler, who had just enlisted in the US Marine Corps five days earlier. Seven other people, ranging in age from 14 to 42 years old, were also hurt by the malfunctioning ride, and some of those injuries were serious.
The Ohio Department of Agriculture says the ride had passed an inspection the day before. The fair was suspended until all other rides were inspected again, and ride manufacturer KGM has asked fairs worldwide to stop using the attraction until further notice.
Back in 2007, KGM issued a service notice to owners of the same type of Fireball that was at the center of the Ohio State Fair accident. That notice stated that structural wear led to the cracking of a swing arm on one of the rides. At that time, Fireball owners were directed to have their rides tested for cracks and have any that are found repaired by certified welders.
However, the day after the Ohio State Fair accident, a person with KGM’s support and engineering department stated that bulletin was not related to this incident. According to KGM, that was a false alarm as the cracks appeared only on one ride. That particular Fireball was later found to have a welding fault. In the accident that took Tyler’s life, it was not the swing arm that caused the damage; a gondola carrying riders broke away from the swinging arm and went off into the crowd below.
A final report has yet to be issued on the cause of this tragic accident by the Ohio Department of Agriculture. 3 WYKC New is reporting that the Ohio State Fair Fireball had extreme corrosion on the inside (http://www.wkyc.com/news/investigations/safety-inspector-says-corrosion-on-the-fireball-at-ohio-state-fair-was-severe/462632626). This finding is the result of an inspection completed by KGM, which found that the inside of the passenger gondola beam had corroded so much that it was thinner than it should have been.
KGM requires that the Fireball be tested once a year via non-destructive testing, which is a high-tech inspection of a ride when it is dissembled. This type of test was done on the Fireball involved in the accident back in October of 2016, but the company that performed the test has yet to respond to any questions about the accident.
An estimated 10,000 people are injured on rides and inflatable attractions annually in the US. If you or someone in your family has suffered because of a dangerous ride or the negligent actions of a ride owner, speak to an experienced Wrongful Death Lawyer Denver CO locals trust about your case today.
A special thanks to our partners at Richard Banta Law for providing their expertise on Wrongful Death and Personal Injury Law.