Son of Vortex ride owner to plead not guilty in North Carolina State Fair accident

Attorney says he's "puzzled as to why his client was charged" in North Carolina State Fair accident
November 8, 2013 9:34:20 AM PST
The attorney for the second man charged in an accident at the North Carolina State Fair last month that sent five people to the hospital said Friday he will plead not guilty.

Joshua Macaroni, 32, turned himself in late Thursday afternoon. He is the son of the owners of the company that brought the Vortex to the fair.

Macaroni is charged with three counts of felony assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, but investigators have not said what they think he did wrong or what role he might have played in the accident.

The charges he's facing are the same as the other man charged in the accident, 46-year-old Tim Tutterrow, who was the ride's operator. Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said last week that Tutterrow tampered with critical safety equipment and continued to run the ride.

ABC11 was told Macaroni was not in North Carolina during the fair, which raises more questions about his involvement in the accident.

Of the five people who went to the hospital, three were seriously hurt, which accounts for the three counts of assault with a deadly weapon.

Macaroni's attorney, Dan Boyce, released this statement: "First and foremost, Josh Macaroni and his family send their thoughts and prayers to the accident victims and their families who were tragically injured in this accident at the NC State Fair. Josh was shocked when he heard about the accident. Josh has no reason to think that Tim Tutterrow did anything to intentionally injure the State Fair visitors who were on the ride. We are puzzled as to why Josh was charged, but we look forward to working with law enforcement so we can learn their theory on why Josh is somehow partly responsible for this terrible tragedy. We will have additional statements at the appropriate time."

Macaroni's first appearance is slated for Friday morning. His bond is set at $225,000.

A judge declined to lower Tutterrow's $225,000 bond after prosecutors said he lives out of state, and could be considered a flight risk.

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