RALEIGH: Vortex photos show gruesome Fair scene, loose wires - WNCN: News, Weather

Vortex photos depict gruesome State Fair scene, loose wires

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

Bloody photographs, pictures of loose wires and maintenance checklists that appear to be incomplete are among the documents from the North Carolina State Fair Vortex incident released to WNCN Friday.

WNCN asked the North Carolina Department of Labor for the documents as part of a public records request.

Five people were injured Oct. 24 when the Vortex jolted into motion while people were still exiting.

Prosecutors  said in a court appearance in December that a key safety mechanism was tampered with. The state said ride owner Josh Macaroni asked operator Timothy Dwayne Tutterrow to stand behind him and make sure no one was watching while Macaroni installed jump wires.

Investigators took dozens of photographs, which are reflected in the report. They show the yellow chairs involved on the ride, the control panels used by operators and the mechanical parts of the Vortex that operate out of view.

Some photos appear to show wires that are disconnected, and another shows a fuse that appears to be blown.

The photos also show the gruesome nature of what happened. Several show a thick trail of blood running down the silver metal floor of the attraction, with blood splattered nearby and the paper remains of medical equipment used to aid those wounded on the scene.

Several checklists appear to be incomplete. For example, the "Amusement Ride Operation Check" is supposed to be completed each day at 10 a.m., 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. One column has the date and another column is for "Supervisor Initial."

But the checklist is incomplete. On Oct. 23, for example, there is no supervisor initial for an 8 p.m. check.

On Oct. 24, the day of the accident, the form is initialed for "10" – that is, 10 a.m. – but not for 3:30 p.m. or 8 p.m.

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

The ride's owner, Macaroni, was charged Nov. 6 in connection with the accident. Macaroni is charged with two felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, and third felony assault charge of assaulting a juvenile, the sheriff's office said in a statement.

Both men have been released on bond.

Also in the documents is a letter from a lawyer for Family Attractions Amusements, LLC, that was sent to state officials last month. In the letter, Gregory Brown said, "Family Attractions not only does not own the ride that was involved ... but it also had no contract to provide the ride at the North Carolina State Fair, it was not compensated for the ride's presence at the State Fair, and the individuals operating the ride were not doing so on Family Attractions' behalf."

Joshua Macaroni is the son of Family Attractions owners Dominic and Ruby Macaroni. Other documents released by the state suggest a tie between the Vortex and Family Attractions.

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