Ohio State Fair Reopens Rides, Releases Fireball Contract Info

August 1, 2017

Officials say rides shut down at the Ohio State Fair after a thrill ride broke apart and killed a man are open after being re-inspected.

Fair officials made the announcement Sunday morning. Some rides, mostly in the fair’s Kiddie Land, had previously reopened.

All rides were shut down Wednesday night after a swinging and spinning ride called the Fire Ball broke apart, killing 18-year-old high school student Tyler Jerrell and injuring seven others, several critically.

A coroner says preliminary findings show the man killed after a ride fell apart at the Ohio State Fair in Columbus died of blunt force trauma.

Franklin County Coroner Anahi Ortiz said Friday that Jerrell suffered head, trunk and lower extremity injuries when he was thrown into the air after a ride called the Fire Ball ride malfunctioned.

The Dutch manufacturer of the Fire Ball subsequently ordered similar rides to shut down worldwide.

A co-owner of the company providing rides at the fair has told WCMH-TV in Columbus he’s certain a mechanical failure caused the ride to break apart.

Jerrell would have been a high school senior. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps a week before the accident.

Jarrell’s family has hired an attorney to possibly pursue a wrongful death lawsuit.

The state released the contract it holds with the owner of the ride, Amusements of America, Inc. (designated the licensee).

The contract contains a requirement that the rides furnished to the fair be “modern, well-constructed and well-maintained Amusement Rides and Attractions which are of Ohio State Fair quality.”

Sixty days prior to the fair, photos of the rides, manufacturer information and the names of the owner and operator of each ride must be furnished to the state’s Ohio Expositions Commission (OEC). The contract includes penalties for shutdown and ride safety requirements. There is also a clause relating to an independent ride inspector to ensure the ride is safe to operate.

An insurance and indemnity clause requires the licensee to obtain $10 million aggregate liability coverage, with $2 million per occurrence for injury or death and $1 million per occurrence for damage.

In addition, there is a hold harmless clause on behalf of the OEC.

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