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Fair Ride in N.C. Injures 5; Owner and Operator Charged with Assault

Following an accident involving a ride at the North Carolina State Fair that injured five people, both the operator and the ride’s owner have been charged with assault with a deadly weapon.

NBC News reports that police arrested ride operator Timothy Dwayne Tutterrow (46) following an investigation into the incident with the Vortex ride, which according to witnesses restarted as people were getting off the ride. Tutterrow, who was employed by an independent ride operator rather than the Fair itself, is charged with three counts of assault with a deadly weapon.

Also charged in the incident is Joshua Gene Macaroni (32), who is listed as the owner of the Vortex, according to NBC. Macaroni surrendered to authorities upon learning he’d been charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury and one count of felony assault on a juvenile with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury.

Macaroni was not present at the time of the accident and his family is questioning why he is being charged with crimes. The attorney for Macaroni, Dan Boyce, said in a statement, “We look forward to working with law enforcement so we can learn their theory on why Josh is somehow partly responsible for this terrible tragedy.”

The investigation into the accident, which flung people into the air as they attempted to exit the pendulum-swing ride, claims to have uncovered tampering. Investigators stated that critical safety equipment which kept the ride from moving unless riders were secured had been bypassed, allegedly after a safety switch malfunction that occurred a few days before the accident had shut down the Vortex for several hours.

Among the critically injured were Kisha Gorham (39), Anthony Gorham (29) and an unnamed 14-year-old who had been hospitalized at WakeMed in Raleigh, according to Fox News.

If you or someone you love is injured in an accident our dedicated Raleigh personal injury attorneys may be able to help you. Contact Kelly & West today to discuss the details of your case with us.

NOTE: Kelly & West is not handling this case.

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