One person injured on Vortex remains in 'very serious condition' - WFLA News Channel 8

One person injured on Vortex remains in 'very serious condition'

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One of the people who fell from the Vortex at the North Carolina State Fair ride remains in the hospital in "very serious" condition, according to the Wake County district attorney, while two others have been released.

The names of those three have not been released and the families have asked for privacy. On Monday, Wake DA Colon Willoughby gave a brief update on their conditions.

Willoughby said one of those injured remains hospitalized, nearly a month after the accident. The two others have been released, including a 14-year-old whose name and gender have not been disclosed.

"I think things are improving. One of the victims is still in very serious condition. I think others seem to be recovering, and we're very thankful for that," said Willoughby.

Willoughby said the thrill ride operator is cooperating with authorities. A judge on Monday reduced Timothy Dwayne Tutterow's bond from $225,000 to $100,000 at the request of Willoughby, who said the 46-year-old "has been helpful and cooperative with this investigation."

Tutterrow, of Quitman, Ga., has been in jail since his Oct. 26 arrest. He was operating the Vortex ride last month when it suddenly spun into motion as people were trying to get out, flinging several patrons through the air and seriously injuring three people.

Tutterrow and ride owner Joshua Gene Macaroni, 32, are each charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon and one count of assault on a juvenile with a deadly weapon.

Macaroni, also from Quitman, was not present when the injuries occurred. He is free on $225,000 bond and was not required to appear in court Monday.

Wake County Sheriff's investigators have said the ride was tampered with to bypass critical safety equipment, but authorities have not yet disclosed any details of what roles they believe Tutterrow and Macaroni played in the mishap.

Willoughby again declined to speak further about the case Monday, including just what assistance Tutterrow has provided. He was seen visiting the ride with detectives after the fair ended, appearing to show them how the machine worked.

Tutterrow's lawyer, Roger Smith Jr., has said his client would never have intentionally harmed anyone.

"He's doing very well," Smith said Monday of his client. "Every time I go see him over at the detention center his first concern is only about the families that were injured on the ride. That's really all he's concerned about right now."

Macaroni's lawyer, Dan Boyce, says the ride owner plans to plead not guilty and expressed confusion as to why his client is charged.

As a condition of their bonds, Tutterrow and Macaroni are required to have no contact with one another pending trial.

The next court hearing in the case is set for Dec. 18.


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