Sheriff's office investigating impaired teen operating ride at Madison County fair

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LONDON — Madison County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a call from the Madison County fairgrounds Friday reporting that an employee operating a children’s ride appeared intoxicated.

“No one was harmed,” Madison County Sheriff John Swaney said Monday.

But deputies from the sheriff’s office briefly shut down the ride and questioned the juvenile operating the attraction. Officers also collected evidence from the teenager and opened an active investigation into the incident.

Children on the ride were visibly shaken up, but no injuries were reported, Swaney said.

“We also contacted the Ohio Department of Agriculture and reported what happened,” he added.

A spokesman for the department said that all amusement park ride operators must be 16 years or older, according to Ohio Revised Code.

“We don’t take incidents like this lightly, especially after what happened at the state fair two years ago,” Swaney said.

In July 2017, two teenagers died after the Fire Ball gondola ride broke apart at the Ohio State Fair. Five others were were injured.

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