Year later, mom of teen killed on Ohio State Fair ride talks of her son’s legacy

Nearly a year after her teenage son was killed in a ride on opening day of the Ohio State Fair, his mother said she will make sure he did not die in vain.

Tyler Jarrell was 18 when he was thrown to his death from the Fireball.

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His mother, Amber Duffield, said she is determined her son’s legacy will be saving others.

The 18-year-old had already pledged to serve the U.S. Marine Corps. He'd trained with Columbus police officers, and on July 26, 2017, his mom said he very well could have saved someone else's life.

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“And he would have still taken that seat had he known the outcome,” Duffield said.

The ride passed an inspection that morning, though investigators later learned the arm had major corrosion.

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“Really right now, it’s not a blame game. It’s more about what are we going to do to make it better?”

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Her solution is House Bill 631: Tyler’s Law.

This would require more training for ride inspectors and assign a minimum number of inspectors to every ride.

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“It’s really, truly about getting that trust back we lost,” Duffield said.

The next couple weeks will be busy as Duffield works to honor her son. She is certain that in his memory she can help spare others the pain she has felt.

Duffield will be at the opening day of the fair this year.

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