All eyes on ride safety as fair season gets started


The Franklin County Fair opens its gates Saturday afternoon at 1pm. And, of course on the minds of many, is ride safety.

 A year ago, remember, 18-year-old Tyler Jarrell died and seven others were injured at the Ohio State Fair, when the Fireball ride broke apart in mid-air.

According to the Ohio Department of Agriculture, the agency that inspects amusement rides, there hasn’t been a reported ride accident at the Franklin County Fair for at least ten years. That’s how long the agency retains those records.

Fair Board Vice President Gary Fellure told NBC 4 Investigator Tom Sussi safety starts with the vendors. Bates Brothers Amusement Company, the largest ride vendor and manufacturer in Ohio, handles the rides.

“Our product from Bates is very good,” said Fellure. “They’re a reputable company, they’ve always passed (inspections), and we’re ready to go tomorrow afternoon.

Tomorrow morning, before the fair opens at one o’clock, ODA will inspect each and every ride. “They’ll inspect all of our rides and make sure they’re up to snuff.”

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