You can’t miss the Giant Slide at the Ohio State Fair. For many families, going down the slide is a yearly tradition. We’ve learned it’s actually one of the most dangerous rides at the Ohio State Fair according to injury reports from the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP).
NBC4 filed an open records request to learn more about how many people are injured on rides each year at the Ohio State Fair.
According to the documents we received from the OSHP, from 2009 to 2014 the giant slide injured about a dozen people each year; by far the most injuries on a single ride. In 2010, a girl reported breaking her collarbone on the giant slide. Over the six-year time period, dozens of people reported burns on the ride. Victims also reported collisions, head, hand and back injuries, face lacerations and bruises.
Overall, more than 200 people were hurt on rides at the fair from 2009-2014. That’s an average of about 35 injuries per year. In 2012, a ride operator fell and suffered a severe head injury working the Ferris wheel. That same year, a mother reported her daughter got her hair caught in a kiddie ride and it was pulled out at the scalp.
Ohio ride inspectors, third-party inspectors and the amusement ride company tell us rides are safe and that this year they’ve gone above and beyond what’s required to ensure riders’ safety.
We’re still waiting to get ride injury numbers from 2015, 2016 and 2017. On the opening day of the 2017 Ohio State Fair, 18-year-old Tyler Jarrell was killed and several others were critically injured when the fireball ride broke apart.