Warrant explains Vortex ride tampering before injuries
RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) — A search warrant made public Thursday explains how a safety mechanism on the Vortex ride was allegedly tampered with before the ride malfunctioned at the North Carolina State Fair in October — causing injuries.
In the inventory of items seized is “5 jumper wires” allegedly used to bypass the mechanism that controlled the deployment and release of the ride’s safety harnesses.
Prosecutors allege ride owner Joshua Macaroni deliberately tampered with the ride’s safety mechanism.
The search warrant alleges Mararoni and ride operator Tim Tutterow were aware of the problem October 21 – days before the ride malfunctioned on October 24.
That’s when the Vortex ride restarted as riders were getting off, sending people flying to the ground – including a family of three.
Macaroni’s lawyer has said he was not at the fair of the time of the accident, and they couldn’t see how he was involved.
But prosecutors said that before a Labor Department ride inspection, Macaroni told Tutterow to make sure no one was looking while he put in the jump wires.
Both Macaroni and Tutterow are charged with three counts of felony assault with a deadly weapon.