The state of North Carolina claimed Friday that a key safety mechanism on the Vortex ride was compromised, leading to a devastating incident at the North Carolina State Fair in October.
The state said that Josh Macaroni asked Timothy Dwayne Tutterrow to stand behind him and make sure no one was watching while Macaroni installed jump wires.
Those jump wires bypassed a safety mechanism that would have prevented the ride from running if the lap bars were up.
Tutterrow was operating the ride Oct. 24 when five people were injured. He is charged with three criminal counts of assault with a deadly weapon. His attorney, Roger Smith Jr., has described him as "a good family man" who would never intentionally hurt anyone.
The injuries happened when the ride started back up while riders were getting off, and thus the safety bars were up. The state is claiming the injuries would not have happened if the jump wires were not installed.
Macaroni is charged with three felonies. His attorney, Dan Boyce, has said, "Josh was shocked when he first heard about the accident. Josh was equally shocked when he heard charges were being filed against him individually."
Macaroni's family owns Family Attractions Amusement of Valdosta, Ga., which supplied the ride for the State Fair.