The North Carolina State Fair has been a tradition for over 160 years. Carnival food and thrilling rides can be fun, but they can also be dangerous, for visitors and for workers. Raleigh workers comp and personal injury lawyers at Brent Adams & Associates reviewed deaths, injuries and illnesses caused by the NC State Fair over the last decade. Here’s what we found:
- 2011 – NC State Fair possible source of E. coli outbreak, putting innocent people at risk, especially children who are highly susceptible to the illness and who were hospitalized because of their conditions. Over a dozen people in Wake County were affected, and many others near the Triangle, bringing the total number of people sickened to 25.
- 2009 - NC State Fair worker was injured when he fell while taking down a ride.
- 2008 – One adult and two children were injured when a rollercoaster car rear-ended the one they were riding in.
- 2007 – NC State Fair worker mildly injured while on the job operating a children’s Early Bird ride that malfunctioned.
- 2002 - NC State Fair worker Ervin Allen was killed. Allen was hit in the head by a pendulum-style swing known as the Banzai. He didn’t survive his injuries after he was thrown from a ride. A girl who was on the swing suffered injuries from colliding with the worker.
Special safety inspections at the NC State Fair are made before opening day and routine inspections are made throughout the almost two week event. If an accident happens, seek medical attention right away and document all injuries. There is always a risk that a ride will malfunction or food won’t be prepared properly. Safety inspections and new requirements for food vendors reduce the risk greatly. If you are injured at the state fair and are concerned about your rights to compensation, schedule a free consultation with a Raleigh personal injury lawyer.
Safety inspections will help eliminate hazardous ride conditions and create safer conditions for fair attendees. To prevent an encore of last year’s E. coli outbreak, fair officials have added more visibility to hand-washing stations and taken extra measures to separate livestock from fair-goers. Since the fair workers are busy keeping the grounds safe for visitors, take extra precautions while driving in state fair traffic, drive cautiously in state fair parking areas, and try to use shuttles if possible.