According to ABC News on Sunday, the operator of a ride at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh that injured five people when it started to move as riders were exiting has been arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon.
Timothy Dwayne Tutterrow, 46, of Quitman, Ga., was arrested Saturday, the fair confirmed in a statement. Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said that investigators believe that the "Vortex" ride was tampered with and critical safety devices were compromised. Harrison added that more arrests could be made.
Sheriff Donnie Harrison said the ride had been tampered with after an inspection that was carried out Monday, and he expected that there would be more arrests.
"After inspection of the ride, we determined that it had been tampered with and critical safety devices were compromised," Harrison said.
The accident occurred shortly after 9 p.m. Thursday, when witnesses said the ride, known for its wild twirls and flips, suddenly started up after it had stopped and while people were exiting.
Three people remained hospitalized tonight in good to critical condition after the "Vortex" ride malfunction Thursday night, according to authorities.
Eyewitnesses reported seeing passengers thrown off the ride while others were holding on.
"There were actually some people that were still, I think, strapped in and holding on, really hanging on for their lives," Max Byrn, 13, told ABC News Radio. "But they were falling like raindrops. It was really crazy."
A witness identified as Caleb Norris told WNCN television that he heard a crashing sound just after getting off the Vortex. He turned around and saw two people lying face down. Norris also said he saw the ride operator fall to his knees and start crying.
Emily Sutherlin is also the Pregnancy Examiner.
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