Ohio State Fair reopens after 18-year-old’s death; rides remain closed
(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — Eighteen-year-old Tyler Jarrell of Columbus, Ohio, was killed Wednesday evening when the Fire Ball ride he was on at the Ohio State Fair broke apart in mid-air, the Ohio State Highway Patrol said.
Seven people were also injured in the incident. Authorities have identified them as Tamika Dunlap, 36; Russell Franks, 42; Keziah Lewis, 19; Jacob Andrews, 22; Jennifer Lambert, 18; and Abdihakim Hussein, 19. A 14-year-old boy was wounded, but his name has not been publicly released.
The victims were transported to local hospitals, and at least three are in critical condition.
“Our hearts are heavy for the families of those involved in last night’s tragic accident. We have shut down all rides until the state has inspected each and every ride again and deemed them to be safe,” fair officials tweeted on Thursday.
At a news conference Thursday morning, Ohio Gov. John Kasich called the incident a “nightmare,” but he still encouraged Ohioans to visit the fair.
“There’s so much to do, and we’ll pull together and come through this. And we’ll have an even stronger fair as a result,” he said.
The governor said he would not speculate on the cause of the incident.
An official with the Ohio State Highway Patrol said its investigators have been at the scene since the deadly incident was reported at 7:24 p.m. Wednesday.
Julian Bellinger was waiting in line for the ride and witnessed the accident. He shared his video recording with ABC News.
“The people that were working it had pressed the emergency brake. And in the video, you see it go up, and when it came back down, a piece had fell,” Bellinger told Good Morning America on Thursday.
Bellinger said he then saw people fall out, d he turned his head. “I couldn’t watch it,” he said.
“People were running away, crying,” he continued. “You just don’t expect to see stuff like that, especially at the fair.”
Britney Neal, 16, was next in line with her sister when the incident occurred.
She saw three people fall, and…