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Ride malfunction at State Fair brings criminal charges to manager

Another man has been charged in relation to an incident at the North Carolina State Fair in which five people were injured. The people were injured attempting to get off of a ride, and North Carolina police suspect that the ride was tampered with. The man is the manager of the Family Attractions Amusement Co., and he now faces criminal charges.

Apparently, at the State Fair, the ride called the Vortex started to move again as people were attempting to get off the ride. The five people had to be taken to an area hospital for their injuries, and as of last week, three of them were still hospitalized. Police suspect that the ride had been tampered with in an attempt to prolong the Vortex's life, and in turn, the tampering may have disabled some of the Vortex's safety features.

The manager has been charged with two counts of felony assault with a deadly weapon and one count of felony assault with a deadly weapon on a minor. The report does state that these charges stem from alleged criminal negligence -- not the intention of causing injury. The manager had to drive from out-of-state to turn himself in, and he posted his $225,000 bond shortly thereafter.

The manager faces very serious consequences if he is convicted of the criminal charges. However, it is quite possible that he had no knowledge of the alleged tampering, and it could be difficult for the prosecution to prove that he was involved at all. If the North Carolina prosecution cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the manager is in fact at fault for the ride's malfunction, his charges could be drastically reduced, or his case could be dropped out of court entirely.

Source:, RALEIGH: 2nd NC State Fair suspect turns himself in, posts bail, Andrew Kenney, Nov. 7, 2013

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Law Office of Christopher A. Connelly
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