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Timothy Dwayne Tutterrow, amusement ride operator, charged after 5 people get hurt in N.C. State Fair "Vortex" ride

Wake County deputies cordoned off the Vortex on the State Fair midway on Oct. 25, 2013, after an accident that injured five people. CBS affiliate WRAL

Wake County deputies cordoned off the Vortex on the North Carolina State Fair midway on Oct. 25, 2013, after an accident that injured five people.
CBS affiliate WRAL
(CBS/AP) RALEIGH, N.C. - An amusement ride operator is in jail after investigators say someone tampered with a ride at the North Carolina State Fair and compromised safety devices.

Timothy Dwayne Tutterrow, 46, of Quitman, Georgia, faces three counts of assault with a deadly weapon and is due in court Monday. He operated the "Vortex" ride when five people were hurt Thursday. His attorney said Sunday that Tutterrow is devastated by what happened.

According to CBS affiliate WRAL,Tutterrow is being held in the Wake County jail on a $225,000 bond.

WakeMed hospital spokesman Thomas Morris said three people remained in the Raleigh hospital Sunday after the ride on the state fair's midway suddenly jolted into gear as people were exiting, dropping some riders from what eyewitnesses estimated to be 20 or 30 feet in the air.

Investigators reportedly arrested Tutterrow after they discovered someone tampered with the ride. Sheriff Donnie Harrison said in a news conference the tampering was "probably to keep the ride operating."

The station reports that the Labor Department said inspectors checked all the rides for safety before the fair opened.

  • Crimesider Staff

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