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'Tyler's Law' Awaits Action One Year After Deadly State Fair Accident

Fire Ball Ride Sign
Rusty Clark

A year ago this week, an 18-year-old Columbus man was killed on a thrill ride on the first day of the Ohio State Fair. Legislation has been proposed to strengthen ride safety, but the law named for Tyler Jarrell hasn’t passed yet.

"Tyler’s Law" wasintroduced in May, nine months after Jarrell was thrown from the Fire Ball thrill ride, which broke apart because of extensive corrosion.

Democratic state Rep. John Patterson said the law, if passed, would require more skilled inspectors and more detailed records of rides, including before and after photos. Currently, there are only eight full-time inspectorson hand at the Ohio State Fair, the same as last year.

Patterson said there are more events featuring rides, so they’re constantly being moved and reassembled. And they’re getting bigger and more thrilling.

“There’s more stress points on the mechanical and engineering side of these rides, which needs to be more specialized training to be on alert for those,” Patterson said.

It took time to do the right research to create the legislation, he said. Now he and Republican state Rep. Jim Hughes, who is co-sponsoring the bill, are hoping it will pass by the end of the year.