One of the eight victims who were on a ride at the Ohio State Fair on Wednesday is speaking out after leaving the hospital.
“I can never go back to a fair again ever in my life and that was my first time going there,” he said. “It was terrifying.”
Hussein and his girlfriend Hannah Sallee, 20, lined up for The Fire Ball upon arriving at the fair with friends Wednesday evening.
During the ride, the pair noticed the ground was creeping closer and closer to them as The Fire Ball swung into the air and back down.
“I’m sitting there scared, trying to get off and it’s still swinging,” Hussein said. “I’m looking at the dude like, ‘Are you going to stop this?’ And he didn’t know what he was doing, just clicking the button. Afterwards, he just ran.”
He said debris from the ride hit half of his body, while barely missing Sallee who sat next to him during the ride.
“My whole life just flashed in front of me because I didn’t know,” he said. “It kept going, too, once it broke off. It kept going, so we were scared because it could be us next.”
Sallee, who helped another young woman get off the ride, told the news station she is still concerned for the other passengers’ well-being.
“I was just at a loss for words. I was just in shock. I didn’t really know what to say and then he started seizing out and I’m just like, ‘What do I do?’ I’m trying to help him. What could I do for him?” she said.
“They were saying yesterday, ‘Oh, I don’t know how this happened. The rides got double inspected,’ and apparently they did not because I just don’t know how did that happen if they get inspected double, triple? That’s unacceptable.”
Half of Hussein’s body went numb after being struck by debris, then he had a seizure, according to WCMH-TV Columbus. He said the last thing he remembers is being transported in an ambulance. Doctors told him he had a small fracture on the back of his neck, and that it might require surgery.
The two said they feel blessed to be alive, having originally been seated on a part of the ride that fell off mid-air.
“That was us at the seat first, so if we never changed seats, it would have been us dead,” Hussein said. “Knowing somebody else died hurts, because everybody’s life matters.