Man has ‘near death experience’ on Tennessee State Fair ride

While on the ride, “Speed,” at the Wilson County Fair a man said a portion of loose Plexiglass became caught in the ride, shearing off a 6-foot piece.
Published: Aug. 22, 2022 at 6:06 PM CDT
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LEBANON, Tenn. (WSMV) - One man said he had a “near-death experience” on a ride at the Wilson County and Tennessee State Fair Thursday.

Reithoffer Shows owns the rides at the fair. They said they inspect each ride every day. But Eric Bain said that inspection didn’t prevent what happened to him.

Bain was on the ride called “Speed” at the Wilson County Fair. He says after two rotations of the ride, a piece of Plexiglass on the structure started waving in the air next to him. Later, the video showed that glass gets caught in the ride, shearing off a 6ft metal pole next to Bain.

“Where the video ends, the ride continued for another rotation,” Bain explained.

He works for a local pest control company. It’s a job that supports his wife and kids who watched the accident happen from below.

“Once we started making rotations, pieces started coming off the ride,” said Bain. “I got hit in the head with bolts or screws or something.”

He says physically he got a headache, but the mental anxiety was the worst part.

“You got things over your shoulder where you can’t really get to your face,” Bain said. “There’s nothing to hold onto on that ride.”

Since Thursday night, the ride has been closed. Reithoffer said that’s because of an issue with the gearbox, not due to Bain’s accident. They say they reported the mishap to the state, filed an insurance claim, and stated this has never happened before.

“They said that they filed an insurance claim, and they will not speak to me,” Bain said. “I would just like to hold them accountable for the negligence, the experience, you know?”

Bain said he will wait and see what happens with the insurance claim. In the meantime, he said they will stay away from carnival rides.

If you have an issue on a ride and need to report it, the state has an Amusement Device Unit. It strives to help make sure you’re safe. They require inspectors do annual checks, and even allow you to report an accident.