A joint investigation into July’s fatal Ohio State Fair accident has concluded there is not enough evidence to file criminal charges in an accident that killed one and injured seven more.
Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien declined to pursue criminal charges in the July 26 accident that killed 18-year-old Tyler Jarrell of Columbus after reviewing the 62-page report by the the Ohio State Highway Patrol and the Ohio Department of Agriculture, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
The “Fire Ball” ride at the Ohio State Fair broke apart in July, throwing 18-year-old Tyler Jarrell and girlfriend Keziah Lewis from their gondola. Jarrell died; Lewis and six others were injured.
The ride passed inspections on the day it came apart in mid-air.
Four people in the gondola that broke off had originally been seated in a different gondola, according to the police investigation. Operator Cesar Martinez made the decision to move them. Additionally, another rider was apparently allowed to ride even though his size and posture prohibited the safety harness from closing around him completely.
The report also includes photos collected by police from bystanders, reported the Dayton Daily News, which show what looks like crack across the assembly that attached the gondola to the ride.
Tyler Jarrell’s family has retained attorneys and plans to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit, they say.
The investigation failed to yield “major conclusions” about the cause of the accident, according to the Enquirer, though inspectors by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission discovered “a good amount of rust and corrosion” on the ride.