Madison County fairgoers talk safety following Ohio amusement ride tragedy

HIGHLAND, Ill. – The amusement ride tragedy that killed an 18-year-old man in Ohio prompted Illinois officials to suspend operations of 12 similar rides across the state, including one at the fairgrounds in Dupage County.

But Thursday, rides were open and functioning at the fairgrounds in Madison County at its annual fair.

Some fairgoers told FOX 2 that while they may have thought twice about going on a ride, they weren't letting the tragedy scare them.

"They are probably safe but you never know," said Mark Wernle, who was at the fair with his daughter. "You can't really prepare for something like that, so you hope everything has been inspected."

Charlie Litteken of Aviston, who brought his grandkids to the fair, said that while he was a bit apprehensive, he trusts the rides are safe to be on.

"Life's a gamble and you gotta gamble a little bit,"Litteken said. “But I trust they are put together pretty well. These things go from place to place and I'm sure they're pretty careful."

Fair officials said that rides are inspected by the state who run them and conduct several test rides.

Park officials with Six Flags America in Eureka said that all of their rides are inspected daily. Officials added that they do not have a ride similar to the one involved in the Ohio deadly accident.

Fair goers like Brionna Bartlett said that while Wednesday's tragedy is on their minds, it won't get in the way of having fun and enjoying the annual summer tradition.

"It really wasn't a worry because it's not big rides but I understand it can still happen but that's just a possibility that it could happen to anybody anywhere," Bartlett said.

FOX 2 reached out to officials with Missouri State Fair and in statement we were told, “A certified carnival ride inspector is on the fairgrounds throughout the entire fair overseeing ride safety."

According to the Missouri Department of Public Safety's website, the department explains: "If safety issues that would pose a risk to the public are discovered during a spot inspection, the ride will immediately cease operation until the safety issue is corrected."