Mother of Ohio State Fair ride victim attends opening day; wants lawmakers to pass of Tyler’s law

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The tragedy on the Midway at the Ohio State Fair is still fresh in a lot of people’s memories.

It was two years ago on opening day at the state when the Fire Ball ride malfunctioned, killing Tyler Jarrell and injuring seven others. 

The mother of the young Marine hopeful who was killed was at Wednesday’s opening ceremony at the Fairgrounds.

Amber Duffield said while there have been changes in the way the rides at the fair are inspected, there’s still no Tyler’s Law.

“So many people see this as just about the fair, and it’s not just about the fair,” said Duffield. “It’s about so much more than that.”

As she walked through to enjoy one of her family’s traditions, she was left with the memory of what happened here nearly two years ago.

She even visited the place where her son died. She said it’s still very difficult to look at the rides. 

Duffield reflected on all of the memories this place has given her, including this most recent moment.

It was an unplanned meeting with Gov. Mike DeWine, her first-ever.

She said he seemed to care.

“He took the time and that really says something and reinstates and supports the fact that he sees this as important,” said Duffield. 

DeWine said it was personal for him and added that he wanted to try to make sure this doesn’t happen again. 

“I think it’s imperative for all of us that two years from now, four years from now, six years from now make sure we’re still as vigilant about safety as we can be, and it’s something we need to be constantly vigilant about,” said DeWine. 

It is why he says he gave the new Ohio Director of Agriculture Dorothy Pelanda his full vote of confidence to make sure all of Ohio’s amusement rides are as safe as possible.

A mission she has accepted.

“Ohioans and visitors to the state fair can rest assured that we are acting and working through those very rules and procedures that are embodied in Tyler’s Law,” said Pelanda. 

House bill 89 or Tyler’s Law has passed in the House but not the senate.

Pelanda and DeWine said they both expect and hope it passes this general assembly. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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