RALEIGH-- The man who was operating the Vortex roller-coaster ride at the NC State Fair was arrested by Wake County Sheriff deputies on Saturday.
Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison confirmed that the Vortex ride was deliberately tampered with. Investigators said 46 year-old Timothy Dwayne Tutterrow is to blame for the accident that injured five people Thursday.
Sheriff Harrison said Tutterrow, who is from Georgia, has been charged with three felony counts of Assault with a Deadly Weapon Inflicting Serious Bodily Injury.
Five people were injured in the accident. As of Saturday, two victims were released and three remain in the hospital. They are Anthony Gorham, 29; Kisha Gorham, 39; and a 14-year-old.
According to witnesses, the ride was stopped and people were unloading when the ride started again.
"After inspection of the ride, we determined that it had been tampered with and critical safety devices were compromised," Harrison said.
The Vortex ride is still shut down and won't be a part of the final day of the fair on Sunday, Fair spokesman Brian Long said.
Sheriff Harrison said the investigation is still ongoing and more people may be arrested.