Ohio State Fair accident victim dies after mysterious illness

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Jennifer Lambert, 18, died from an illness. She was seriously injured in the Ohio State Fair accident an had been treated for a traumatic brain injury since the 2017 accident (Courtesy: Lambert family)

One of the people hurt in the Fireball tragedy at the Ohio State Fair in 2017 died Friday but her attorney said she died from something unrelated to her injuries.

Jennifer Lambert was 18 when she was hit by debris from the amusement ride and suffered a traumatic brain injury according to her attorney. Jim Arnold, who represented Lambert, said she died of liver failure at a hospital in Cleveland.

"Jennifer was progressing," Arnold said. "She has never been home. She's always been either in a hospital or in this facility."

Arnold said the Geneva Police Department in Northeast Ohio has started an investigation with the Ashtabula County Sheriff's Office. A message to the Geneva Police was not returned. The Ashtabula County Sheriff's Office said Geneva Police were handling the investigation and didn't comment any further.

Arnold said Lambert left the Homestead assisted-living facility in Geneva with three men for several days.

"After that her condition deteriorated rapidly for some reason unknown today," he said.

He said he found a Licking County Probate Court emergency order instructing those three men to not have any contact with her. A toxicology report has been ordered to determine why she became ill after returning to the Homestead.

"We don't know why her liver failed," Arnold said. "An autopsy is going to be performed and we'll have more answers I'm sure in the next few weeks. Jennifer has left before and so there may have been measures which should have been taken to make sure she can't do it again."

Arnold said Licking County Social Services had recently arranged for Lambert to move into a new apartment shortly before she died. The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office said it did not have a cause of death but confirmed they had received her body.