Ohio State Fair tragedy: New documents describe what happened

Published: Tuesday, October 03, 2017 @ 5:52 PM
Updated: Tuesday, October 03, 2017 @ 8:03 PM

Ohio State Fair tragedy: New documents describe what happened

The trooper at the Ohio State Fair was breathless as he radioed in the first report of the deadly accident at the Fire Ball ride.

“Headquarters. On the Scrambler machine, somebody fell off,” the officer says at 7:24 p.m. “I’m on the east side.”

The next several minutes of radio traffic paints an urgent, chaotic scene as more emergency personnel arrive.

READ MORE: Victims changed seats just before Ohio State Fair ride tragedy

“We need a squad here,” another first responder reports. Says another: “Headquarters. He’s unconscious. No pulse.”

“I’m gonna need fire down here with extraction equipment. They’re trapped inside the ride. They’re going to need to be cut out,” one officer says.

The Ohio Department of Public Safety released dozens of audio files, photographs, videos, witness statements and more on Tuesday afternoon. Much of the material included previously reported information about the Fire Ball accident on July 26, opening day of the Ohio State Fair, when 18-year-old Tyler Jarrell was killed and several others were seriously injured.

Maker Identifies Cause In Deadly Ride Malfunction

But the 49-minute recording of radio traffic shows that troopers, medics, firefighters, police cadets and other first responders worked quickly and efficiently to treat and transport the injured, control and holdback curious onlookers, and track down the ride operator who initially ran away.

The first report came in at 7:24. Three minutes later, Columbus Fire Department’s engine 18 and an EMS unit rolled through Gate 7.

Media were sent to the training academy while family members of victims were sent to the FFA Center. Troopers used the Ohio Highway Patrol training academy grounds just north of the fairgrounds to land and launch a patrol helicopter, which was used to take aerial photos.

An angry crowd gathered outside the trailer owned by Amusements of America, the ride and concessions operator. “There is a huge crowd up here and they’re getting pretty heated,” an officer radioed in. Columbus officers from the mounted division rode in on horseback while more troopers moved into “keep the peace.”

RELATED: Ride shuts down worldwide

A timeline document released Tuesday starts with the initial report at 7:24pm and ends with “all evidence collected is secured” at 12:04 a.m. In between the crowd control and helping victims, troopers collected statements from 25 witnesses or others.

Among them was 14-year-old Tyler Griffin, who was injured on the ride that he rode with his friend, Kobe Patterson.

>>Five things to know about the Fire Ball ride

>>How common are festival ride accidents?

“One of the girls who got on the ride, she picked her seat and the safety latch wouldn’t go down….Once the ride started we went around a couple of times and nothing happened. And as soon as we got a couple of feet in the air and the ride started to go faster, the latch that held the cart together broke off and hit the gate and two people fell out,” said Griffin, who was on it for the fifth time that evening.

“When the ride broke down metal pieces started flying everywhere and some hit my arm,” he said. “There was a lot of metal and dust everywhere.”


>>James Brown interviews eyewitness of tragedy

>>Footage of Fire Ball ride operating properly 

>>Aerial scenes show aftermath of fatal malfunction

>>6 other serious events at fairs in Ohio

Former Kettering principal named Mason superintendent

Published: Monday, December 11, 2017 @ 1:08 PM
Updated: Monday, December 11, 2017 @ 5:05 PM

Jonathan Cooper, a former elementary teacher in Centerville City Schools and principal in Kettering City Schools, was named next year’s superintendent of the Mason City Schools in Warren County.
Jonathan Cooper, a former elementary teacher in Centerville City Schools and principal in Kettering City Schools, was named next year’s superintendent of the Mason City Schools in Warren County.

A former Kettering and Centerville educator is to be the next superintendent of the Mason City Schools.

This morning, Jonathan Cooper was named next year’s superintendent of the Mason district, the largest in Warren County.

According to a press release issued by the Mason school district, Cooper was an award-winning elementary teacher in Centerville City Schools and a successful school principal in Kettering City Schools.

MORE: Kettering News

A Martha Holden Jennings Scholar and former Ohio Teacher of the Year nominee, Cooper was able to successfully merge two diverse elementary school staffs and communities into a strong, thriving and unified Southdale Elementary in Kettering in 2010.

MORE: Centerville and Washington Twp. News

In Mason, Cooper will replace Superintendent Gail Kist-Kline, who is retiring at the end of the 2017-2018 school year.

“To keep us moving forward, we want a values-driven leader who will support our world-class teachers and staff while continuing to cultivate innovation and guide us through a constantly evolving financial and regulatory landscape,” said Matt Steele, president of the Mason school board said in the press release. “The great news for our students, staff and community is that we already have a visionary, humble, community-oriented leader who has built deep relationships with district partners and business leaders and helped make Mason a leader in innovation and professional development - our current Chief Innovation Officer, Jonathan Cooper - who we are thrilled to appoint as Dr. Kist-Kline’s successor.”

MORE: Springboro superintendent leaving for Mason

The Mason City Schools Board of Education is to appoint Cooper as superintendent, effective July 1, 2018, at its regular meeting on Tuesday.

“I am honored that the School Board has entrusted me with this great responsibility. It is such a joy to be able to serve Mason’s students, staff, families and community in an even deeper way. I have been fortunate to work closely with Dr. Kist-Kline and learn from her courageous leadership, and I’m excited to build on the foundation that she and our school board and dedicated staff have firmly established,” said Cooper in the release. “As a second generation educator, learning is my family’s passion, and it is our mission as a family to serve our community’s schools.”

Cooper was named deputy superintendent beginning Jan. 1. In that expanded role, he will oversee key personnel and master facilities plan decisions, in addition to his current duties.

RELATED: Watch the announcement

He joined the district in 2014 as chief innovation officer. He led the development of the Mason Experiential Learning Program.

Also this fall, Cooper was awarded the 2017 Excellence in Education Award and the 2017 Rising Star Award from the Mason Deerfield Chamber of Commerce.

Cooper earned his bachelor’s of education with a concentration in science from Ball State University, his master’s of science in educational leadership from the University of Dayton.

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Jonathan and his wife, Michelle, are parents of Henry, age 12, Wyatt, age 9, Myles, age 7, and Tessa, age 5.

“This is a big move for our family because one of our core family values is living an integrated life where we are able to live out our mission by serving our local community and authentically connecting with our neighbors. We look forward to moving to Mason and already have stock in a lot of Mason green,” Cooper said.

Safe ride service operator accused of sexually assaulting Miami U students

Published: Monday, December 11, 2017 @ 4:53 PM
Updated: Monday, December 11, 2017 @ 5:03 PM

Sherman Jackson II (Courtesy/Butler County Jail)
Sherman Jackson II (Courtesy/Butler County Jail)

The owner/operator of “Sherman’s Safe Ride,” a taxi service that caters to Miami University students, has been jailed on charges accusing him of sexually assaulting students. 

According to Oxford police, two females filed separate reports with police accusing 38-year-old Sherman Jackson II of sexually assaulting them in his vehicle. According to the complaints, the incidents occurred Dec. 8 and 9. 

OTHER LOCAL NEWS: Witnesses recall saving child in fatal crash

Both women are 21 and MU students. 

Jackson was arrested and is being detained in the Butler County Jail on two counts of rape, two couns of kidnapping. Police said the investigation of both cases is continuing. 

The Oxford Police department asks anyone who has additional information about the incidents to call the police tip line, 513-524-5268 or CrimeStoppers, 513-352-3040.

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com

Local father’s emotional heart-warming talk with daughter goes viral

Published: Monday, December 11, 2017 @ 3:08 PM

Man talks to kid posted on Facebook

A video of a Kettering man consoling his daughter has gone viral with its positive message. Randy Gaines didn't know his wife, Deceena Gaines was recording him at the time, but neither of them knew the video was going to reach over 3.2 million views by Monday afternoon. 

On Dec. 2, Gaines found his 6-year-old daughter upset in her room because he had teased her by calling her a name after a book he reads to her, "Moody Moose Buttons." Gaines said his family of six are very playful and like to tease each other. "We are very close," he says. 

Gaines said he began to talk with his daughter and got her to open up about what was bothering her. He discussed with her how to handle her emotions and to talk with him in the video. 

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Gaines said he thinks the story is viral because, "It's an open, honest, genuine moment that was very personal and positive. I don't think you see a lot of that in the media or online. Most people aren't used to seeing this parenting style. People all over the country are reaching out. A lot of people have said they didn't receive this as a child and are going to do this for their kids." 

The local father is honored, humbled, and flattered with all of the positive feedback.

Northwestern board to discuss complaints amid superintendent probe

Published: Monday, December 11, 2017 @ 4:35 PM

Northwestern superintendent Jesse Steiner
Northwestern superintendent Jesse Steiner(HANDOUT)

Northwestern Local Schools’ board of education will hold a closed executive session meeting at 5 p.m. Wednesday, in part “to consider the investigation of complaints against a public employee.”

Northwestern Superintendent Jesse Steiner has been away from the district since Nov. 26 while allegations of unprofessional behavior are investigated, according to a statement from the school board’s attorney.

EARLIER: Northwestern investigates allegations against superintendent Steiner

School board President Donna Myers on Monday declined to address the details of the complaints against Steiner. She did say that Steiner hasn't been formally placed on leave or scheduled for a disciplinary hearing.

“They’re just investigating now, and we will be advised on what direction we need to take eventually,” Myers said. “All we’re doing is fact-finding right now.”

For the full story, go to SpringfieldNewsSun.com.