This story is closed for comments. Comments on WRAL.com news stories are accepted and moderated between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.
btneast Oct 29, 1:58 p.m.
I'd assume these people are getting paid a flat rate for working all week and that feeling pressured to keep rides open to make a paycheck wouldn't really be a factor.
You know what happens when you "assume"? You would be wrong in this case. Get in the real world, the operator makes more money the more tickets that are sold, so of course they pay the operators likewise. Mechanics get paid by the amount of work they do too, not just a flat rate per week. We ALL are judged in the workplace by our productivity, some of us get immediate payouts in the form of commission, others get it once a year in a bonus.....and some are too timid and settle for a flat wage. Rest assured, even if you are on a salary or a flat rate, if you aren't "producing" to expectations, you won't be around long.
exador7 Oct 28, 5:33 p.m.
Let him go,,, He didn't think he was doing any wrong... It's okay,, No ones perfect.. it's all good..
Comments Oct 28, 5:10 p.m.
"He's only devastated for himself. I consider what he did an act of terrorism."
Terrorism….REALLY??? What political agenda was he trying to influence….that's a component of terrorism. It is bad, but this is not terrorism. See definition below:
Terrorism: The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons.
snowl Oct 28, 4:41 p.m.
Bringing in this style of thrill ride to the NC State Fair was a bad idea. I'm sure they thought it would attract more young folks who want this type of adrenaline rush, however, it backfired.
I hope the family who was injured will recover nicely.... the lawyers are lining up now.
monami Oct 28, 3:55 p.m.
The "3 inspections a day" is NOT TRUE. Read again. The State has explained this "self-inspection" process (by the operators, not inspectors!) after being asked by a reporter to elaborate. That's like the fox guarding the henhouse. At the first presser, the State, in my opinion, misrepresented their "3 inspections a day" in their initial statement.
Lots o' politics involved in this fair - it was clear they were desperate to keep the crowds coming. "My grandkids will be riding these rides tonight!" was the standard line. (Wonder if their parents agreed!)
sinenomine Oct 28, 3:32 p.m.
It's easy, macy, how this guy is able to afford Mr. Smith. I have no doubt it is the company which owns the ride which has hired the attorney. That company is potentially on the hook for a tremendous lawsuit before all this is over.
Smith is a fine attorney and his representation of Cook, the now former drunk-driving doctor who killed the ballerina, was masterful. I do have to laugh, though, when he says this new client is "devastated" over the incident. Cook was supposedly devastated too but never showed it and to the best of my knowledge has never made any public statement apologizing for his horrendous conduct.
It should be interesting to see how this case plays out.
golorealist Oct 28, 3:23 p.m.
"Sounds like something is missing don't you think? ( like 3 inspecters missed some kind of tampering ? I'm thinking there are more responsible in some way, shape or form." - feistyredhead2001
who is to say that tutterow was not only the guy that tampered with the ride but also the guy that inspected it three times per day.
macy Oct 28, 3:20 p.m.
How can a carnie afford Roger Jr.?????
feistyredhead2001 Oct 28, 3:09 p.m.
itsmyownopinion & sidecutter.... I'm saying you all should read and re read urtwopid comments. I don't think this guy should be charged alone. If the rides are inspected properly 3 times a day like they said some one else didnt do their jobs is what I am saying... and ONE man is being charged with all this??? Sounds like something is missing don't you think? ( like 3 inspecters missed some kind of tampering ? I'm thinking there are more responsible in some way, shape or form.
edtomjr Oct 28, 2:46 p.m.
Could they shed some more light on how the fair works in terms of how these operators are paid? Do they stand to lose out on money if people are not giving them tickets to ride something they are operating? It would help in order to understand if there was some sort of motive or reasoning behind keeping a ride open if it wasn't totally functional. I'd assume these people are getting paid a flat rate for working all week and that feeling pressured to keep rides open to make a paycheck wouldn't really be a factor. If they do get paid on ride attendance then maybe they need to reevaluate their system, as it opens the door for situations like this.
IPayYouPay Oct 28, 2:33 p.m.
I bet he is "devastated". All that money he's going to have pay out in lawsuits. I would be too. Duh!
bill0 Oct 28, 2:18 p.m.
"so your telling me ALL 3 INSPECTIONS that were supposed to be done everyday NEVER saw this????"
The rides are actually only inspected ONCE before the fair by real inspectors. After that, the operator is responsible for inspecting them 3 times per day during the fair. The only other time a real inspector will investigate is if a problem is reported during one of the operators personal inspections. The whole system depends on operators honestly reporting problems.
rosie48 Oct 28, 2:12 p.m.
Personally, I believe the Fair has gotten way to big for the State to handle. It's all about the money! If the State wants the Fair to continue at this present size they will have to spend more money on the safety and security of the citizens who visit. Seems there are more rides every year and less space to walk. Might be cheaper to hire more security and safety inspectors than the legal fees they are now facing!
monami Oct 28, 1:49 p.m.
Perhaps the Family Attractions Amusement Co. is footing the bill for the attorney..although probably not. The company would probably want to blame the operator, not the equipment. But Roger Smith entering the scene is interesting!
pja1357 Oct 28, 1:19 p.m.
Something needs to change as far as inspections go for sure. I am surprised he has the bucks to hire Roger Smith also!!! Where is he getting the money from to pay this legal bill as it will be costly!!
Obamacare is here Oct 28, 1:11 p.m.
"Was he the only operator for this ride? Maybe another operator was involved."
Magic operator theory?
makeitright Oct 28, 12:58 p.m.
right on queue from tha attorney..
pappy1 Oct 28, 12:39 p.m.
Since these attractions are technically "transporting" the riders, I am surprised the Transportation Security Administration hasn't assigned some of its renta-cops to monitor these potential hot-spots of terror.
GOPtakersSociety Oct 28, 12:28 p.m.
I would assume that the operator get's paid only if the ride is operational, I would also assume that the company claiming that they have never had a accident with this ride begs the question. These are run on hydraulics. Hydraulic parts fail, ask any backhoe operator!
missdawg Oct 28, 12:05 p.m.
Fiesty, the rides are initially inspected by the NCDOL before they are allowed to operate. The three daily inspections are done by the owner/operators of the ride, not the state. It would be very easy to lie on the inspection report that the ride was operating properly when it did appear to be up until the accident. Also, since this was the only ride the company had at the fair, there were probably only four or five people here from that company at most, and he likely was the "bossman" in this situation. More details will come out soon.
monami Oct 28, 11:59 a.m.
Sorry, but expecting the ride operators to self-inspect 3x a day, and then have Fair officials "spot-check" those logs is NOT adequate. Are you kidding me, checking to see if the ride operator logged their own "inspection" is the inspection process? That's equivalent to zero inspection.
And Roger Smith is this guy's attorney? Very interesting....he went straight for the big guns.
Kaitlyn Oct 28, 11:55 a.m.
I don't have any sympathy for him but I also don't understand the AWDW charge. I don't think he was intentionally trying to hurt anyone. It seems like a reckless endangerment charge would be more appropriate.
raleighlynn Oct 28, 11:55 a.m.
If I understand correctly, we know what happened, but do we know for sure the man arrested knew anything about this? Are the operators responsible for checking their own rides? In any case I doubt the operator "showed intent and malice", he probably just wanted to keep the ride open, the money flowing, and his job secure. That doesn't make it better for the injured, it just sounds like a lot of jumping to conclusions before all the facts are in. God bless the people injured, and all involved.
lessismore Oct 28, 11:46 a.m.
Was he the only operator for this ride? Maybe another operator was involved.
sidecutter Oct 28, 10:45 a.m.
"Fiesty" what was possibly done could be so discreet that a casual glance would not reveal it. Electrical safety switches could be "bypassed" and no one would know it unless that opened it and looked in it. The ride is probably full of the switches. Bypassing a switch to make the ride work is criminal and definitely shows intent and malice.
itsmyownopinion Oct 28, 10:40 a.m.
You don't think he did it post inspection, feistyredhead?
urtwopid Oct 28, 10:31 a.m.
I assure you he "made" this ride work, due to pressure from his superiors. Seems a safety switch was bypassed to make the ride run. (For example: Bypassed safety switch in the harness, so even if the harness is open, the machine will start.) He stood to loose his job (meaning nothing to the company), where as the Midway company stood to loose a significant amount with the ride being down. C'mon the guy makes nothing per hour running it. What do you expect? There should be an amnesty box that the operators can place concerns into, so the safety of these machines can be monitored without the fear of loosing their job.
feistyredhead2001 Oct 28, 10:19 a.m.
Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said at a news conference Saturday that it appeared the tampering was "probably to keep the ride operating," ... so your telling me ALL 3 INSPECTIONS that were supposed to be done everyday NEVER saw this???? or were never done? I don't think that man did it on purpose, but I see a lot of others than that would be held at fault too. I'm thinking they are going to pin this on one man, yet like I said, the rides are supposed to be inspected 3 times a day and signed off on... no one not even the "bossman" saw this ?? hmmm
itsmyownopinion Oct 28, 10:00 a.m.
He's only devastated for himself. I consider what he did an act of terrorism.
Jimmytwotimes Oct 28, 9:07 a.m.
No sympathy for this guy, He knew he was risking everyones life and didn't care.
Published: 2008-01-11 14:37:00
Updated: 2010-06-21 13:53:03