Local News

Sentencing in State Fair ride accident delayed after victims hurt in crash

Posted March 21, 2016

— A Monday morning sentencing hearing for the operator of a ride that malfunctioned and injured a family at the 2013 North Carolina State Fair has been postponed because two members of the family were injured Saturday night in a car crash.

Anthony Gorham was listed in good condition Monday at WakeMed, and his wife, Kisha Gorham, was in fair condition.

Details of the crash weren't available Monday morning.

The Gorhams were among five people injured on Oct. 24, 2013, when The Vortex ride at the State Fair started up unexpectedly as people were trying to disembark. Investigators determined that a safety mechanism designed to keep the ride from moving had been disabled.

Anthony Gorham suffered brain, skull, neck and spinal cord injuries and spent nearly four months in a local hospital. He is now blind in one eye, has developed seizures and can no longer work.

Kisha Gorham, her son and her niece were also seriously injured.

Timothy Tutterrow, who was operating The Vortex the night of the accident, pleaded guilty last June to three counts of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury. His sentencing was put on hold until after the case against ride owner Joshua Macaroni was resolved in case Tutterrow needed to testify.

Macaroni pleaded guilty last month to obstruction of justice and was sentenced to one month in jail and ordered to pay a $22,500 fine.

Tutterrow's attorney, Roger Smith Jr., said the three counts would be consolidated for judgment and that Tutterrow would receive "an intermediate sentence," which would likely mean probation but could involve some jail time. The final sentence would be up to the presiding judge, Smith said.

"We are so sorry to hear about the news about the Gorhams," Smith said, adding that Tutterrow and his family are willing to wait for the couple to recover. "They couldn't believe it, and their thoughts and prayers go out to the family, the Gorham family. They just can't believe this."

The Gorhams have settled a lawsuit over the accident with Macaroni, Tutterrow, Powers Great American Midways, which ran the State Fair midway, and Family Attractions Amusement LLC, the Georgia company that brought The Vortex to the fair. Terms of the settlements haven't been disclosed.


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