RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A Georgia man who was operating a ride at the North Carolina State Fair was charged with three counts of assault with a deadly weapon after the ride injured five people, officials said Saturday.
Timothy Dwayne Tutterrow, of Quitman, Ga., was arrested. Witnesses said the Vortex, a ride known for its wild twirls and flips, had stopped Thursday and people were getting off when it started moving again.
Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said after inspecting the ride, investigators determined it had been tampered with and critical safety devices were compromised.
Tutterrow is employed by an independent ride contractor, and the Vortex was the only ride the company had at the fair. A telephone call to Tutterrow was not immediately returned.
Three people are still in the hospital. They are Anthony Gorham, 29; Kisha Gorham, 39, and a 14-year-old.
Attendance dropped the night after the accident. The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said just over 82,000 people attended Friday, which was more than 10,000 fewer people compared with the same night last year.
The ride is closed for the duration of the fair, which ends Sunday.