A funeral service was held Tuesday for a man who was killed last week on an amusement park ride at the Ohio State Fair in Columbus.

Friends and family honored 18-year-old Tyler Jarrell at the Grove City United Methodist Church, about 10 miles south of Columbus. Police officers and U.S. Marines also attended the service for Jarrell, who had recently enlisted in the Marines.

“The Marines are greatly saddened by this tragedy,” Marine Corps Public Affairs Chief Sgt. Caitlin Brink said in a statement to WCPO in Cincinnati. “We are truly proud to have known him as one of the brave few willing to step up and serve his country in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Jarrell had been scheduled to report to Parris Island, South Carolina, for basic training next summer, WCPO reported.

Tuesday’s funeral procession passed by a McDonald’s restaurant where Jarrell worked.

Also on Tuesday, members of the Ohio state Senate and House agricultural committees met at the state fairgrounds, according to their fair tradition. They began the meeting with a prayer for Jarrell and the seven people who were injured, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported.

The state has made public the contract it holds with New Jersey-based Amusements of America, which owns and operates the fair’s rides, United Press International reported. The contract shows that the company was required to pay for an independent ride inspector and have insurance of at least $10 million to cover any ride-related deaths or injuries.

An Ohio coroner declared blunt force trauma as the cause of Jarrell’s death, citing injuries to his head, torso and lower extremities. His family was planning to file a wrongful death lawsuit, WCPO reported.

The seven people who were injured included Jarrell’s girlfriend, Keziah Lewis, a student at the University of Cincinnati.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich had ordered the fair’s rides shut down last Wednesday night following the tragic accident, pending new safety inspections, with some rides reopening Friday, the Columbus Dispatch reported. Other rides resumed operating Sunday, WCPO reported.

Earlier Wednesday, the opening day of the Ohio State Fair, the “Fire Ball,” a swinging and spinning ride, broke apart and sent people hurtling into the air, killing Jarrell and injuring seven others.

Officials said the ride had been inspected at a couple of different stages and was ultimately cleared for use on the day of the accident.

John Vivona, owner of the company that provided the rides to the fair, said he believes the accident was due to a mechanical failure and not a problem with the ride’s operators or inspections.

An investigation is continuing. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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