Closings, delays and early dismissals

Warrant explains Vortex ride tampering before injuries

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

The Vortex ride at the North Carolina State Fair malfunctioned. (WTVD Photo)

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.

Source: WTVD

4 comments

  • Tonya

    “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.” If this was BEFORE the inspection, why did Labor Department inspectors pass the ride…

    • Trav May

      He was bypassing a safety component that was working properly, keeping the ride that had a serious malfunction from running. The inspectors can not be expected to have an intimate of every ride’s specific inner workings, so they could only inspect the assembly and operation of the ride. Besides the cost of repair and lost revenue from the ride being shut down, the ride company would probably have had a hard finding someone who is qualified to repair amusement rides on such short notice as to have it repaired before the fair was over.

      Mr. Macaroni had most likely done this type of thing many times without others being hurt. It was just a matter of time before something terrible happened.

  • Sandy

    I still don’t understand why they would do this. Was there some sort of motive? Was it their intention to hurt people?

    • FaithC

      I am right there with you. I don’t understand what the motive was. I am pretty sure it has something to do with money and making more of it no mater who they put at risk.

Comments are closed.