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

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“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

Slow warming trend to get underway

Published: Tuesday, October 17, 2017 @ 3:21 AM
Updated: Tuesday, October 17, 2017 @ 6:45 PM

Warmer temperatures are expected in the Dayton area over the coming days.

Clear skies and seasonably cool weather is expected as temperatures drop into the 50s after sunset, Storm Center 7 Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell said.

QUICK-LOOK FORECAST

  • Clear, not quite as chilly tonight
  • Slow warmup over next few days
  • No rain until late Sunday

>>Science world ignores politics, preps for lunar space station

Warmer Mornings(Graphic by Storm Center 7 Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell)

DETAILED FORECAST

Overnight: Clear skies are expected with temperatures falling into the lower 40s.

>>WHIO Weather App

Wednesday: Expect lots of sunshine. Temperatures will rebound to near 70 degrees by late afternoon.

Long-range Temperature Trend(Graphic by Storm Center 7 Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell)

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Thursday: More sunshine is expected through the day. Highs will reach into the lower 70s.

Friday: A few high clouds will arrive, however skies will remain mostly sunny. Highs will reach well above normal, into the lower to middle 70s.

Saturday: Mostly sunny skies and unseasonably warm temperatures will start the weekend with highs in the middle 70s. 

>>Live Doppler 7 HD Radar

Sunday: Clouds will be on the increase, mainly late in the day. It will become breezy and mild with highs in the middle 70s. There is a chance for showers by late evening or at night.

Ex-deputy settles federal lawsuit against Miami County Sheriff’s Department

Published: Tuesday, October 17, 2017 @ 7:00 PM

Tina Waymire in 2015 (Cox Media Group/File)
Tina Waymire in 2015 (Cox Media Group/File)

A federal lawsuit former Miami County sheriff’s Deputy Tina Waymire filed against the sheriff’s department has been settled.

The settlement was announced just before a jury trial began this week in U.S. District Court in Dayton.

RELATED: Compensation case involving Tina Waymire settled

Waymire filed suit in May 2015, claiming that the way she was paid for her work as the department’s K-9 officer was in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

She claimed the county failed to keep records of the hours she worked and knowingly failed to pay overtime. 

According to a notice filed in court records, the settlement was disclosed to the court Monday and a jury impaneled to hear the case was dismissed. 

RELATED: Deputy Tina Waymire, on leave, has been fired 

Details of the settlement were not available Tuesday. According to the court, the settlement would be formalized within 30 days. 

The lawsuit was filed against the sheriff’s office, in care of the county commissioners. 

Waymire, who was with the department nearly 30 years, was fired in June 2015 by then-Sheriff Charles Cox. 

Tuesday morning, the commissioners met in closed executive session with current Sheriff Dave Duchak and lawyers to discuss litigation.

No action was taken as a result of the session, which was added to the commission agenda Tuesday morning.

2 creating YouTube video survive close call with train, Fairborn fire official says

Published: Monday, October 16, 2017 @ 7:36 PM
Updated: Tuesday, October 17, 2017 @ 2:43 AM

One Fairborn teen had book bag torn from him along Kauffman road near Central Avenue

Two people videotaping for the purpose of posting their exploits to YouTube escaped injury Monday night when one of them rolled off the tracks as a train approached, officials said.

The second person apparently standing too close to the tracks was thrown to the ground when the train hit the backpack the first person was holding, according to the early assessment from witnesses, Fairborn fire Battalion Chief Laura Kerr said.

"We highly recommend that you not do that," she said. 

RELATED: Young person doing YouTube stunt hit, killed by train

Police and medic units were originally dispatched on a report of a pedestrian hit by a train in the area of Kauffman Avenue and South Central Avenue in Fairborn around 7:15 p.m.

The train conductors are extremely upset because of what happened, Kerr said, noting that such incidents can trigger post traumatic stress for train engineers and conductors. 

"Do not play on the tracks. It's not a play area. Its not an adventure. Its not a story. It's not a good video," she said.

The investigation is continuing, but Kerr said witnesses have told authorities that one of the people involved laid down on the tracks and rolled off at the very last second as the freight train approached. 

The second person, apparently wearing a back pack or book bag, was too close to the tracks, Kerr said. The train hit the back pack or bag, which was ripped off the person. 

"Luckily, no one was pulled under the train," she said, noting the investigation is still so new that she's not sure of the ages or genders of the people involved. 

No word yet on whether police or fire officials will pursue charges against the two people involved in the incident.

In September, 16-year-old Joseph Fernandez was struck and killed by a train in Miamisburg when he tried to perform a stunt. 

“All these videos on YouTube of people doing this exact same stunt and not dying is what encouraged these kids to do this,” Joseph’s uncle Joshua Fernandez said following his death. “People should stop posting this stuff.”

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Boil advisory issued for Gratis residents

Published: Tuesday, October 17, 2017 @ 7:02 PM

A boil advisory has been issued in the village of Gratis, according to the village water department.

The advisory affects about 40 people living south of Franklin Street. 

As crews work on water lines, people living on Harrison, Thomas, High, Mack and Saylor streets are advised to boil water before use.

Water department staff said the advisory remains in effect until further notice.

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