Maryland Fairs Take Precautions In Aftermath Of Fatal Ohio Accident

BALTIMORE (WJZ)– The investigation into what caused a thrill ride at an Ohio fair to break apart, resulting in the death of one man, is ongoing. The tragedy has pushed inspectors in Maryland to take a closer look at a similar ride in Ocean City and local fairs.

Eighteen-year-old Tyler Jarel was killed after flying 50 feet, seven others were injured.

The Ohio State Fair opened Thursday, but all the rides remained closed. The experience was traumatic for many.

“I heard a girl scream help and I look over and I see some fly and then I see it slap to the ground,” witness Jennifer Body said.

Ohio governor John Kasich toured the fair grounds Thursday.

“We can’t speculate on what we’ll find, but what we do know is that there will be lessons that will be learned in one way or another,” he said.

State records show all inspections were up to date for the ride.

In Maryland, rides are inspected by the Department of Labor Licensing and Regulation.

The manufacturer of the “Freak Out” ride in Ocean City is the very same as the one that failed in Ohio. It was inspected thoroughly Thursday and it wasn’t the only ride in Maryland that’s been given a closer look as carnival and fair season approaches. It passed and is operational.

“Every ride in Maryland is seen multiple times whether it be a carnival or a park ride,” said Rob Gavel of the Safety Inspection Unit for Maryland Dept. of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.

Cecil County Fair officials said they also perform their own daily inspections.

“Our guys go through and thoroughly inspect every ride every morning before we open,” said Beau Pugh of Deggeller Attractions.

There are no rides like the Fire Ball at the Cecil County Fair but word of what happened in Ohio has given parents some pause about what ride they’ll let their children on.

“It was definitely a concern for us when we were deciding to come here tonight,” Bethany Leonardi said.

Others, chose to believe it was just horrible accident that won’t happen again.

“Hopefully, it’ll stay that way,” one man said.

In Maryland, inspections are only legally required once a year for parks and every time they’re set up for carnival rides.

Officials say they go back from time-to-time to make sure everything is up to par.

The 18 year old killed in Ohio had just enlisted to be a Marine.

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