Ride owner charged in accident that injured 5 at NC State Fair
by WNCN Staff
Five people were injured Thursday night after an incident on the Vortex ride behind the Expo Center.
RALEIGH, N.C. -
The Wake County Sheriff's Office has issued a warrant for the arrest of the man who owns the ride on which five people were injured at the North Carolina State Fair.
Joshua Gene Macaroni is charged with two counts of felony 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 planned to travel from Georgia to Raleigh on Thursday to face
the charges, said Joyce Fitzpatrick, a spokesman for his family
business, Family Attractions Amusement Co. of Valdosta, Ga.
According to industry trade magazine Amusement Today, Macaroni is the owner of the Vortex ride. Five people were injured on the Vortex when the ride began moving while it was being offloaded.
"The ride had stopped and they were fixing to offload when it started off again. That is the preliminary report," Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said.
Deputies arrested ride operator Timothy Dwayne Tutterrow, 46, of Quitman, Ga., on Oct. 26 and charged him with three felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious bodily injury, Harrison said.
Tutterrow, who is employed by an independent ride contractor, is suspected of tampering with the ride, Harrison said. Officials with the state Labor Department declined to offer further explanation of the tampering and the overall investigation.
"After inspection of the ride, we determined that it had been tampered with and critical safety devices were compromised," Harrison said.
The Vortex is owned by Family Attractions Amusement Company, who said "it has an excellent equipment safety record and has never before experienced an incident with any of its rides like this one."
However, according to the Amusement Safety Organization, between 2004 and 2011, the company had three safety incidents in Georgia involving rider injuries.
Josh Macaroni is the son of Family Attractions Amusement Company owners Dominic and Ruby Macaroni.
"We have just learned of these charges and Dominic and Ruby Macaroni are very concerned, of course, for their son," the company said in a statement. "Still, their thoughts and prayers are with the persons injured in this terrible accident."
The sheriff's office said Josh Macaroni is not currently in custody.