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“Safety is first:” Washington County Fair officials ensure rides are safe following Ohio tragedy

Washington County Fair

WASHINGTON COUNTY -- The executive director of the Washington County Fair said Thursday, July 27th the type of ride that malfunctioned in Ohio, killing one person and injuring others, some critically, is one of the most popular rides on her midway.

Inspectors repeatedly looked over a thrill ride while it was assembled at the Ohio State Fair and signed off on it hours before it flew apart in a deadly accident that flung passengers into the ground, according to authorities and records released Thursday.

Investigators worked to find out what caused the opening-day wreck that killed a high school student who had just enlisted in the Marines. Seven other people were injured, including four teenagers.

On the third day of the 2017 Washington County Fair, not everyone was aware of the deadly accident in Ohio. Barb Peterson was though. She spent the afternoon at the fair with her granddaughter, but admittedly would not be getting on too many rides herself.

"I think the younger kids still don't have the fright, or the fear thing," said Peterson.

One ride at the Washington County Fair is similar to the one that malfunctioned in Ohio.

Washington County Fair

"Every morning they do a pinpoint inspection with their operators," said Washington County Fair Director Kellie Boone.

Kellie Boone

Boone said incidents like the one in Columbus are rare.

"It's very uncommon at county fairs and with amusement parks like this for stuff like that to happen," said Boone.

Washington County Fair

Boone said her rides are provided and managed by Rainbow Valley, a company from central Wisconsin. She said everything is running smoothly and speaks with the operators daily.

"We have conversations every morning of the fair. Like I said, I checked with Rainbow Valley. They are good to go. They have done their stuff," Boone said.

If the crowds on Thursday afternoon were any indication, people were more worried about having a good time than anything else.

Washington County Fair

"There are lots of kids here, so obviously safety is first, but I totally trust what they are doing out here," said Jay Fisher, Kewaskum.

Boone said the only snag so far during the fair, was all the rain that fell on Wednesday. Other than that, there were no issues to report on the midway.

The Washington County Fair runs through July 30th.