North Carolina State Fair

Family worries for mind, body of worker crushed by fair ride

Posted October 28, 2013
Updated October 29, 2013

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— Tywan Newell and his wife were working in the wee hours of Monday morning, part of the team that would disassemble the North Carolina State Fair, when disaster struck. Working nearby, Newell's brother, Anesto, became trapped when a seating compartment of a ride fell on him.

"All I saw was this yellow hoodie laying on the ground and I said, 'Oh no, that's my brother,'" said Tywan Newell. "When I got there, the ride was on top of his body." 

Anesto Newell was working on a ride called The Vortex, a name it shared with another ride where five people were injured earlier in the fair run. 

Tywan Newell worried first for his brother, who suffered a broken back, pelvis and leg, and then he thought of their mother, Jean Quartey, who was already at WakeMed with heart complications.

He described rushing to his brother. 

The ride was crushing him, Tywan Newell said.

"I said, 'Anesto, are you OK?' He said, 'No, no.' I said, 'No, I don't mean your body physically.  I mean are you going to live through this situation?' In my mind I'm thinking, 'What am I going to tell my mother?'"

Anesto was taken to WakeMed where he had surgery and was in critical condition in intensive care Tuesday morning. 

When Quartey learned that her son had joined her in the hospital, she reacted in anger. 

I'm mad," she said. "'Cause it shouldn't have happened. It shouldn't have had to have happened."

Tywan Newell agreed. 

"I expect everybody to be safe, at least until you bring it down," he said. 

Family members said Anesto Newell had six years' experience in disassembling rides, but they would like to see Powers Midway, the ride operator, add more safety measures or worker training.

Powers did not respond to a request for a statement Monday evening.

Brian Long, spokesman for the NC State Fair, said it had not yet been determined what cause the ride to fall on Newell.

20 Comments

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  • frosty Oct 31, 2013

    Not much information in the article about what happened. So it is hard to say what went wrong and other than a cable snapped. But generally, you do not get under a suspended object.

  • Ven Oct 30, 2013

    accidents will always happen even with the highest safety training provided. It's called human error most of the time. I worked in heavy equipment for a printing company for few years and no matter how much you train and apply rules, people attempt to take short cuts causing accidents.
    lisaclark2

    INCLUDING people who should routinely be updating safety process and procedures, routinely checking equipment, etc. It's not always just the workers fault...like the space shuttle, were the pilots/astronauts at fault? No, someone forgot to make sure o-rings were clean and it set off a chain reaction of issues, which one could say is also a design flaw.

  • BubbaDukeforPresident Oct 30, 2013

    This is why I don't ride fair rides. They are put up and down so often they are bound to fail. Using amateurs to set up and break down the rides is a practice that should not continue. Just because the victim has experience, it's not a skill that can be retained only two weeks out of the year.

  • A person Oct 29, 2013

    Sounds like an unfortunate accident and if I am on the jury when the lawsuit is filed, that is how I will look at it and award this guy his medical costs, that's all

  • eastcoastpirate88 Oct 29, 2013

    LisaClark2-

    The cable holding the equipment snapped, causing it to fall on Anesto. This was his human error?

  • eastcoastpirate88 Oct 29, 2013

    AUSERN-

    Where in this article do you see something that indicates the family is law-suit focused? I personally want this operator to add more safety measures as well, so does that make me law-suit focused also?

  • buckskin022 Oct 29, 2013

    I feel bad for the guy and I do hope he recovers quickly. It does sound as if the family is law-suit focused, doesn't it?
    AUSERN

    My thoughts too!!

  • EricaSliver Oct 29, 2013

    I feel bad for the guy and I do hope he recovers quickly. It does sound as if the family is law-suit focused, doesn't it?

  • Pepe Silvia Oct 29, 2013

    "On one hand it said Mr. Newell had six years' experience but then the mother is mad because more training is needed? What happend to cause the seat to fall?" - umop apisdn

    I'm sure he wasn't taking the ride down by himself...

  • lisaclark2 Oct 29, 2013

    accidents will always happen even with the highest safety training provided. It's called human error most of the time. I worked in heavy equipment for a printing company for few years and no matter how much you train and apply rules, people attempt to take short cuts causing accidents.

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