RALEIGH: Vortex remains at fairgrounds at a cost of $400 per day - WNCN: News, Weather

Vortex remains at fairgrounds at a cost of $400 per day

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More than two months after five people were injured on the Vortex, the ride is still in the very spot where the accident happened. More than two months after five people were injured on the Vortex, the ride is still in the very spot where the accident happened.
RALEIGH, N.C. -

As the Vortex sits unused on the North Carolina State Fairgrounds, the fair is paying $400 a day to watch the ride around the clock.

On Oct. 24, five people sustained injuries at the N.C. State Fair when the Vortex jolted into motion as people were exiting.

Eyewitnesses estimated that riders were dropped from as high up as up to 30 feet, and an EMS source said all five were initially unconscious, but three regained consciousness.

One of the injured suffered serious head injuries. Another victim had injuries similar to a concussion, according the EMS source.

More than two months later, the Vortex is still in the very spot where the accident happened, and it will remain there throughout the investigation.

With barricades encompassing the ride and a security guard standing by, State Fair spokesman Brian Long said the fair is paying $400 a day to watch the ride around the clock.

"If the ride needs to be kept in custody or kept protected, it's on our property so we should be the ones paying to do that," Long said.

The ride's owner, Joshua Macaroni, was charged Nov. 6 in connection with the accident. And last month, Macaroni was indicted on three counts of assault with deadly weapon inflicting serious bodily injury.

The operator of the ride, Tim Tutterrow, was also indicted on three counts of assault with deadly weapon inflicting serious bodily injury. Tutterrow was arrested two days after the accident.

Tutterrow, who is employed by an independent ride contractor, is suspected of tampering with the ride, Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said.

Attorneys for the state say Macaroni asked Tutterrow to stand behind him and make sure no one was watching while Macaroni installed jump wires. Those jump wires bypassed a safety mechanism that would have prevented the ride from running if the lap bars were up.

Macaroni's family owns Family Attractions Amusement of Valdosta, Ga., which supplied the ride for the State Fair.

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