Cuyahoga County Fair worker severely injured in 2016, Berea police report shows

Posted at 11:37 PM, Jul 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-27 23:37:41-04

A man working for the company that runs the Cuyahoga County Fair nearly died while tearing down a ride last year, a Berea Police report showed.

Ronald Grimes, 37, was shocked, knocked unconscious and placed on life support at MetroHealth following the August 16, 2016 incident. According to the report, Grimes was on the roof of the bumper cars ride performing a “pre-tear down,” when the accident happened.  Grimes also suffered severe burns on his face. He was eventually released from the hospital, Cuyahoga County Fair Board President Tim Fowler said.

A coworker told police that despite the ride manual instructions to turn off the power before the pre-tear down, a manager instructed them to keep working.

Cincinnati-based Kissel Brothers runs the Cuyahoga County fair. On Thursday, Fowler said he had full confidence in Kissel to safely operate this year’s fair when it opens August 7.

“When it comes to the rides, our ride company has a solid performance with us,” Fowler said,” noting that he couldn’t recall any riders being injured.

Fowler said he just spoke with officials at Kissel Brothers Thursday to talk about ride safety, following Wednesday’s tragedy at the Ohio State Fair, where seven people were injured and one man died.

"They assured me that there will be no rides taken down until after the fair and everything is disengaged,” Fowler said.

Kissel Brothers did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday night.