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One Year After Ohio State Fair Death Ride Safety 'Tyler’s Law' Has Yet to Pass

Proposed legislation called "Tyler's Law," named for Tyler Jarrell who was killed after being thrown off a ride at the Ohio State Fair last year, could pass by the end of the year.

A year ago this week, an 18-year-old Columbus man was killed on a thrill ride on the first day of the Ohio State Fair. Legislation has been proposed to strengthen ride safety, but the law named for Tyler Jarrell hasn’t passed yet.

Tyler’s Law was introduced in May, nine months after Jarrell was thrown from the Fireball thrill ride, which broke apart because of extensive corrosion. 

Democratic Rep. John Patterson said the law, if passed, would require more skilled inspectors and more detailed records of rides, including before and after photos.

He said there are more events featuring rides, so they’re constantly being moved and reassembled. And they’re getting bigger and more thrilling.

“There’s more stress points on the mechanical and engineering side of these rides, which needs to be more specialized training to be on alert for those,” Patterson said.

It took time to do the right research to create the legislation, he said. Now he and Republican Rep. Jim Hughes, who is co-sponsoring the bill, are hoping it will pass by the end of the year.

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.