An 18 year old was killed last night after a passenger car on a ride broke off at the Ohio State Fair in Columbus. Seven others are injured, 3 of whom are said to be in critical condition and have been sent to local hospitals, including the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Dr. David Evans, medical director at Ohio State, told news outlets that viewing footage of the accident was helpful because it showed those treating the victims that the injuries came from an accident similar to that of a high speed vehicle crash.
The ride, called the Fire Ball, is a swinging pendulum that lifts cars filled with riders into the air before swinging back to the center and back up in the air in the opposite direction. According to eyewitnesses, an entire car suddenly snapped off while at its highest point in the air and hurtled passengers to the cement below.
According to the lead inspector, the ride was inspected ‘about 3 or 4 times’ in the span of 2 days and showed no problems. The ride was also said to have been inspected yesterday, just hours before the fatal malfunction.
DuPage County Fair Underway in Wheaton
With the DuPage County Fair already underway in Wheaton, Illinois, NBC 5 news reminded viewers this morning of the requirements for operating rides in Illinois.
In Illinois, the Carnival and Amusement Rides Safety Act mandates that rides must be inspected prior to operation, inspected annually, have a visible permit placed on them, and that permits should be renewed every year. The law is overseen and enforced by the Illinois Department of Labor.
The tragedy in Ohio last night has shown us that despite frequent safety checks, accidents at amusement parks, festivals, state fairs, and carnivals can still happen. While the investigation into the accident at the Ohio State Fair is ongoing and the exact cause is yet to be released, it appears that a structural or mechanical defect caused the large piece of the thrill ride to break from its supporting structure.
State Fair, Festival, Amusement Park and Carnival Lawsuits
What should be an exciting outing can quickly turn to what one witness at the Ohio State Fair called “my biggest nightmare.” It’s an unimaginable tragedy and something that no one should have to face.
There are many possible causes of accidents at state fairs, including mechanical and structural issues, operator irresponsibility or inexperience, and even users shunning rules in place to protect them. While the law dictates that state fairs, festivals, amusement parks and carnivals abide by state laws regarding permits and safety inspections, accidents can still happen. Cases such as these fall under an area of law called premises liability. Pursuing justice when an accident occurs at an amusement park, carnival, festival or state fair is a difficult process and one that requires the skills of an experienced personal injury attorney.
For over 25 years, the Chicago, Illinois personal injury attorneys of Levin & Perconti have passionately pursued justice for victims of premises liability, medical errors, nursing home abuse and neglect, and other forms of personal injury accidents. If you or a loved one have sustained injuries from an accident at a state fair, festival, amusement park, carnival or other event with any sort of thrill ride or temporary or inflatable structure such as a bounce house or haunted house, we can help. Navigating the law can be overwhelming and complex and our experienced attorneys will work with you to determine your right to compensation under the law.
Please, contact us for a free consultation.