COLUMBUS (WCMH) – It’s been less than a week since a deadly ride accident at the Ohio State Fair in Columbus took the life of 18-year-old Tyler Jarrell.
Already, a team of lawyers is investigating the case on behalf of the teen’s family. Right now, there still aren’t many answers as to why or how this happened, let alone who is responsible.
But the attorneys representing Jarrell’s case said they plan on finding out the truth.
“We took this case to seek justice for Tyler. His family wants to find out how this could happen and prevent it from happening to others,” Attorney Mark Lewis said. “Amber, his mother, and the family are devastated. Tyler was a wonderful young man, as you know. He was an explorer with the Columbus Police Department. He had just signed up with the Marines and he looked forward to coming back to Columbus to become a police officer and protect the safety of this community.”
The Fire Ball now sits quarantined on the fairgrounds, barricaded by semi trailers and surrounded with police tape.
“We know something was wrong. We don’t know just yet what,” Lewis said. “We have, sadly, worked on other cases that involved carnival rides, amusement park rides, and accidents so we’re familiar with the investigation, which we’re doing now.”
He said it’s very early into their investigation but they’ve already hired Introtech to investigate and reconstruct the incident to determine how and why it happened.
“They’ll want to inspect the ride and its component parts. They’ll want to test those parts. We’ll want to reconstruct what happened, as a way of determining what the culpable parties are.”
Lewis said they’re currently casting the widest net that they can.
“Starting with the manufacturers, the ride itself, the Dutch-based company KMG, any of the component part manufacturers.”
He said their investigation will also involve the owner and operator of the ride, as well as state officials and inspectors.
“In each of those cases, we want to make sure they did their due diligence, that they were careful, that they made sure the ride was safe for Tyler and all the other fair-goers.”
Lewis said the community has already reached out to them, including potential witnesses.
“People with video, people who were eye witnesses to the event, people who claim to have knowledge about the ride and its history, among other things.”
The Kitrick, Lewis & Harris law firm and the Jarrell family hope to develop universal legislation in the future to prevent ride accidents from happening. They’ve thought about calling it “Tyler’s Law.”
Lewis said they have not filed the lawsuit yet but plan to do so soon.