Cops: Operator Turned NC Ride Into 'Deadly Weapon'

NC man charged with assault after 5 injured

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 28, 2013 1:33 AM CDT

(Newser) – The carnage at the North Carolina State Fair last week was caused by tampering with safety features on the Vortex ride, investigators believe. Arrest warrants state that Timothy Tutterrow, the ride operator, turned the ride into a "deadly weapon" by interfering with the technology, causing it to start again while people were exiting and dumping people to the ground from 20 to 30 feet up, the Raleigh News & Observer reports. Five people were injured and three are still in the hospital.

Witnesses say the ride started again after safety restraints had been lifted, leaving riders who had been unable to jump off desperately trying to cling on. Tutterrow, 46, has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon. A carnival safety consultant says it doesn't sound like the harm was intentional, but "there was a problem that went undiagnosed, and they just looked for a quick fix." Tutterrow is "married, he has kids, and he’s absolutely devastated for what’s happened," his lawyer says.

Emergency crews respond to the scene where a ride malfunctioned at the North Carolina State Fair.
Emergency crews respond to the scene where a ride malfunctioned at the North Carolina State Fair.   (AP Photo/WNCN, Alison Blevins)
Police secure a barricade around the Vortex after an accident closed the ride at the NC State Fair in Raleigh, NC.
Police secure a barricade around the Vortex after an accident closed the ride at the NC State Fair in Raleigh, NC.   (AP Photo/The News & Observer, Robert Willett)
« Prev« Prev | Next »Next » Slideshow
My TakeCLICK BELOW TO VOTE
4%
3%
7%
3%
74%
9%
To report an error on this story, notify our editors.

NEWS FROM OUR PARTNERS
Other Sites We Like:   The Street   |   24/7 Wall St.   |   BuzzFeed   |   Cracked   |   World History Project   |   POPSUGAR Tech   |   Business Insider   |   HuffPost Entertainment