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North Carolina State Fair incident leads to criminal charges

What was supposed to be a fun time at the North Carolina State Fair recently turned into a horrific situation when five people were seriously injured on a ride. As a result of this incident, two people now face criminal charges for assault with a deadly weapon. Investigators into the incident believe that the man who was operating the ride disabled some of the safety features in order get people on and off the ride more easily.

The incident occurred Oct. 24 as a ride called The Vortex was stopped and unloading passengers. It suddenly began moving again as some of the passengers took off their restraints, dropping them about 20 feet. One of the injured victims was a 14 year old. The rest were adults.

The 46-year-old ride operator was arrested two days later after investigators discovered that a mechanism was disabled that would have prevented the ride from moving when there were unsecured passengers. He reportedly cooperated with investigators, but he now faces three criminal counts. He is being detained on $225,000 bond. In addition, the man who owns The Vortex was charged with three felony counts, including one pertaining to the injury of the juvenile. Authorities haven't given details as to why the owner of the ride was charged.

Individuals related to the investigation believe that there was no malicious intent in disabling the safety mechanism on the ride. Regardless, both men now face serious criminal charges that could lead to steep penalties if they are convicted in a North Carolina court. Both of them would do well to work closely with their legal teams to find the best strategy for defense as they try to clear their names.

Source: wral.com, Authorities charge ride owner in accident at NC State Fair, Amanda Lamb, Nov. 6, 2013

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