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Fireball victim pushes for tougher ride regulations after death of boyfriend, own severe injuries

COLUMBUS (WCMH) -- Keziah Lewis and her boyfriend Tyler Jarrell got tickets to the Fireball ride at the Ohio State Fair last year. It was opening day. The couple, who met at the Stringtown Road McDonald's where they both worked, sat next to one another.

Their happy evening at the Fair ended tragically when part of the ride snapped off, sending riders into the air. Seven, including Lewis, were injured. 

Jarrell, who had plans to be in the United States Marine Corps, died from his injuries.

Lewis said she does not remember anything from the time they purchased tickets until she woke up in the hospital. She has endured almost a year of incredible physical, mental, and emotional pain. She lost a young man she loved.

"We just had so much ahead of us and it just felt like it all got taken away," she said.  

Since the accident, Lewis has had 12 surgeries. She broke her back, hip, pelvis, ankle, shoulder, wrist, and neck.

She now has to use a wheelchair, but is slowly learning to walk again.

She told NBC4's Katie Ferrell she has good and bad days. Some days are still unbelievably painful.

But, the toughest part, Lewis said, was losing Tyler and realizing he is never coming back. 

"I think in the hospital I wasn't ready to like accept it so I just kept telling myself, 'he's just on vacation somewhere, he's just not here right now' but it's, like, really hard." 

As the State Fair approaches, Lewis said she has felt her anxiety rise. Her body and soul are not done healing. But she is pushing forward for Tyler. 

Lewis says she is speaking out now to put pressure on lawmakers to pass what is known as Tyler's Law, which would strengthen ride rules in Ohio and require more of state inspectors. 

She is working with Tyler's parents to send a message to lawmakers, the state, and other riders. 

See more of Katie Ferrell's interview with Keziah Sunday on NBC4 at 11pm, and starting Monday on NBC4 at 5pm. 


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