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Carnival Ride Danger
Five people have been injured on a carnival ride in North Carolina. Passengers were getting off The Vortex ride when it suddenly started to move. Some people were even dropped from a high distance of twenty to thirty feet. According to The New York Times, the forty-six year old ride operator, Timothy Dwayne Tutterrow, has been officially charged with tampering with the ride. The exact details of how the ride was tampered with are unknown. Three people remain in a Raleigh hospital and their families simply want to know why and how it happened.
As a result of the unexpected injuries, attendance has been slowed and less than average, especially on the final day. Most people simply don’t feel safe on the rides. The safety measures for the other one hundred rides have not been taken into account. The scrutinized ride, The Vortex, included flips and turns and twirls. The ride is being investigated and it has been proven to have actually been tampered with. Significant safety devices and precautions were not up to their best potential. One detail released is that The Vortex‘s safety switch to keep the ride from moving unless passengers are strapped had to be repaired. Afterwards, the ride was reopened. The County Sheriff, Donnie Harrison, has refused to comment on the investigation and the state Labor Department has also declined to comment on the matter.
Tutterrow is being formally charged with three counts of assault with a deadly weapon. He spent time in jail on Sunday with $225,000 bond. His lawyer, Roger W. Smith Jr. says his client is “devastated” by the unfortunate situation. Ride operators don’t usually face criminal charges because carnival rides are a self-regulated industry. However, if all fair rides were investigated as thoroughly as the recent Vortex, there is a high percentage that most rides would be labeled as safety hazards with more criminal charges put out in the open. The North Carolina State Fair is famous for the policy that if just one little something doesn’t work properly, the ride is immediately closed to the public.
The state Labor Department has commented firmly that all rides were inspected before the fair began and that ride operators must keep a daily log of the ride’s operations. Ride inspectors are present on the grounds at every hour of every day the ride is set to operate. The Family Attractions Amusement Company of Valdosta, Georgia is responsible for The Vortex, but they have been unable to review the inspection records since the ride has been closed off.
Image Credit: The New York Times