A ride called The Fireball malfunctioned at the Ohio State Fair Wednesday night, resulting in the injury of seven patrons and the death of one Ohio man. The cause of the ride malfunction is currently unknown. However, the 18-year-old man whose life was tragically cut short had just joined the Marine Corps five days earlier.
Tyler Jarrell had his whole life in front of him. At 18 years old, he had just graduated from high school in June and was ready to embark upon a life of service to his country. His Facebook page was filled with photos of his swearing in ceremony.
Following the news of Jarrell’s death, the Marine Corps issued a statement. “He wanted to be in the Infantry or serve as a combat engineer,” the statement read. “Our heartfelt condolences go out to Tyler Jarrell’s family and all of those affected by his loss. The Marines here are greatly saddened by this tragedy. We are truly proud to have known him as one of the brave few willing to step up and serve his country.”
Jarrell was also interested in becoming a cop as he was very involved in the local police force Explorer program.
The ride Jarrell was on at the time of his death, The Fireball, swings riders 40 feet into the air while spinning them at 13 revolutions per minute, according to ABC News. A full investigation is underway as the fair has re-opened a day after the incident took place.
According to the State Highway Patrol, Jarrell was thrown into the air after the ride malfunctioned and was killed instantly when he landed on some nearby concrete.
Devray Williams, a woman who was on the ride with Jarrell, told the Daily Mail the ride started to severely shake before people starting flying out of the ride.
Fighting tears back, Williams said: “And then the dude hit the ground. He wasn’t breathing. None of them was, it was like five people. Nobody was breathing and then they came and tried to give him CPR but nothing was happening.”
Three of the seven people injured are in critical condition. The fair will reopen today, but The Fireball ride will remain closed until a full investigation has been completed.
Ohio’s governor John Kasich said in a statement to the press that the accident was a “nightmare” but encouraged local residents to attend the fair and “pull together.”