A carnival ride that reportedly caused minor injuries after it malfunctioned Sunday night is set to open again this week at the Highland County Fair.
Vicky Jinright, owner of JCJ Amusements, told The Times-Gazette that the malfunction occurred when a chain broke, causing one of the ride’s carriages to hit the ground hard.
Tracie Harlow, a JCJ employee, said she was in the area when the malfunction occurred.
“It made a loud pop,” she said, “They’ve been working on it… The JCJ workers worked quickly to make sure everybody was safe. Safety is our priority.”
A variety of rumors were circulating following the accident, including reports that people on the ride were stuck at the top for an hour, and that a young girl’s face was badly injured – both of which were untrue, according to Highland County Senior Fair Board Member Charlie Davidson. Other rumors were that all rides were shut down, also untrue.
Davidson said the ride was stopped for about 10 minutes before riders were removed from the top carriage, and two children received minor injuries that did not require further medical attention.
“It was just a minor incident,” Davidson said. “The two little girls got a bump on the head, and that was about it.”
Branden Jackman, public information officer for the Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire District, confirmed that the injuries were minor. He said Paint Creek was called to the scene by the fair board.
“They made us aware there had been a malfunction,’ said Jackman. He said Paint Creek personnel performed an evaluation on the scene, and the two riders who were evaluated refused transportation.
Jinright said Tuesday afternoon that the ride was being repaired, and as soon as a new chain is installed and the ride inspected, it will be up and running again before the end of the week.
Davidson said the ride was inspected before the fair began by an inspector from the state agriculture department, and immediately after the malfunction.
Facebook users had many opinions on the Highland County incident, with some saying the accident has discouraged them from going to the fair, and others saying it wasn’t as bad as the rumors claimed.
“Have fun, but please be careful,” one user said.
“What’s going on with the rides in Ohio?” another asked, apparently referencing a deadly ride incident at this year’s Ohio State Fair in Columbus.
“I’m about afraid to take my kids to the fair anymore,” another user said. “This is the second one in like a month!”
Still another said, “I was there when this happened. They took every precaution and no one was hurt.”
Jinright said she feels rides at county fairs get a bad rap, especially after the accident in Columbus, and assured fairgoers that the rides are safe.
Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570, or on Twitter @DavidWrighter.