COLUMBUS, OH (WCMH)– Eight hundred thirty-three days after Tyler Jerrell was killed at the Ohio State Fair, Tyler’s Law is finally just that in the state of Ohio, a law.
PREVIOUS STORY: LOOKING BACK: Tragedy on the Midway 2 years later
The 18-year-old future Marine went to the fair with his girlfriend Keziah Lewis the night of July 26, 2017. They were on the Fireball ride when it broke apart. Tyler died that night. Keziah sustained a broken back, neck, hip, pelvis, shoulder, and wrist.
In the days to follow, the Fireball ride manufacturer said excessive corrosion is what led to the ride breaking apart.
According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol report about the accident, at least seven inspectors and ride operators looked at the Fireball, but no one noticed the excessive corrosion. Excessive corrosion is what OSHP blames as a possible cause of the accident.
Inspecting the Inspectors
Three months to the day of the fatal Fireball accident NBC4 released the results of our investigation lead by journalist Katie Ferrell into what happened at the fair.
INSPECTING THE INSPECTORS:
Ohio ride manufacturer takes on state inspection program
How does Ohio’s inspection program stack up?
One hundred seventy-four days days after Ferrell’s first “Inspecting the Inspectors” report, Tyler’s Law was introduced by Ohio Representatives John Patterson and Jim Hughes.
ONLY ON NBC4: ‘Tyler’s Law’ introduced nine months after deadly State Fair accident
The representatives said the reporting of Ferrell influenced the law heavily.
- The bill calls for hiring more state inspectors, giving preference to individuals who are professional engineers.
- It would require the Ohio Department of Agriculture to follow all of the voluntary safety standards set out by the industry (ASTM) and keep ride manuals on file for inspectors to study.
- It also calls for fines on ride owners not in compliance and requires more detailed logs of repairs and maintenance done on rides.
Tyler’s Law did not pass in the 2018 legislative session and was reintroduced in April 2019. Governor Mike DeWine pledged his support for the bill. He wrote a letter to Jarrell’s mom, Amber Duffield, telling her so after she had called him.
DEWINE SUPPORT: Gov. DeWine backs move for more ride inspectors
The Ohio legislature passed Tyler’s Law October 23, 2019.
Signed into law
With Duffield by his side, Gov. DeWine signed Tyler’s Law Wednesday. It went into effect immediately.
It is my privilege today to sign Tyler’s Law.Gov. Mike DeWine
WATCH: Gov. DeWine signs bill creating Tyler’s Law