Vortex ride finally leaving North Carolina State Fairgrounds


The ride has sat at the fairgrounds since Oct. 24 when it suddenly restarted as riders were trying to get off. People were picked up and dumped onto the ground.

The most seriously injured was a family of four. Three of them are now home recovering from their injuries, but the father is still in the hospital apparently in a coma.

Earlier this month, investigators said they were finally finished examining the ride and told the owner, Joshua Macaroni, that he could take it away.

Before the ride was packed up, one of the defense attorneys in the case gave it one last run.

Neither of the two people charged in connection with the tragic incident were in court with their attorneys Tuesday. That hearing was mostly administrative.

"Quite frankly it makes us angry...two people allegedly did something otherwise this wouldn't have happened...it just shows us...you can take all the steps you take...if somebody is intent on doing something wrong they can undo all of that," said N.C. State Fair spokesman Brian Long.

Macaroni has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury. Ride operator Tim Tutterrow faces the same charges.

A prosecutor says Macaroni ordered Tutterrow to block the view of inspectors as he used "jump wires" to by-pass safety systems and keep the ride operating.

Now that Macaroni has seized control of the ride, the state is no longer paying for its security, an estimated $400 a day.

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