Police Cite 'Mechanical Failure' in Ferris Fall

Cheryl Sanders
August 11, 2016

Baileyton police Officer Kenneth Bitner is v. Members of the Greeneville Fire Department help people off the ferris wheel at the Greene County Fair in Greeneville, Tenn., Monday, Aug. 8, 2016.

One eyewitness account reported by WJHL indicated that the girls fell from the ferris wheel when the vehicle got caught as the wheel lifted them upwards, and they spilled out onto the ground.

(Dale Long/The Greeneville Sun via AP). The Macaroni family owns Family Attractions Amusement in Georgia, which owns the Ferris wheel that malfunctioned in Tennessee on August 8. A few people who fell 30 to 45 feet from a Ferris wheel in Tennessee were responsive and answering qu.

The mother of two of the three girls injured when a Ferris wheel gondola flipped over at a Tennessee county fair said her daughters remain hospitalized two days after the accident.

"The accident report form submitted to the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development by Family Attractions and the Greene County Fair Board of Directors Monday night said, "(C) ar No. 9 got caught on a bar", causing it to tip 90 degrees and the children to fall 25 feet or more to the ground.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Government investigators have not yet determined how a Ferris wheel seat flipped over at a Tennessee county fair, sending three children plummeting 30 to 45 feet to the ground. She wrote that Briley has seemed to respond to relatives' voices and the family is taking it "one minute at a time". "They want to give her more time, and as much as I want her alert and dancing and being feisty, I want her to rest and feel better".

Reynolds expressed confidence in the girls' doctors and the hospital, gratitude for the community's support, and astonishment at the media attention over the incident. She called her "my optimistic little sunshine".


The youngest of the unidentified victims sustained a traumatic brain injury, Dr. J. Bracken Burns of the Johnson City Medical Center said. The 16-year-old's injuries were not known.

On Wednesday, federal inspectors were on site from the U.S.Consumer Product Safety Commission.

"We all want to know why this awful accident happened", she said, "and what we can do to prevent it from happening again".

The Ferris wheel at the Greene County Fair was operated by Valdosta, Georgia-based Family Attractions Amusement.

Nearly three years after the worst state fair accident in recent memory, the company that owned the ride is back in the news, this time for another fair ride accident in another state. An accident report filed with Tennessee authorities lists Ruby and Dominic Macaroni as the company's owners.

All mechanical rides at the fair have been shut down until third-party inspectors contacted by both Family Attractions and the fair operator have certified them as safe, he said.

Joshua Macaroni and ride operator Timothy Tutterrow were each charged with assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury.


He said it's too early to consider criminal charges in the incident.

Family Attractions Amusement was fined in 2013 for violating safety laws in North Carolina after a Vortex ride suddenly lurched into motion as riders were disembarking, injuring four riders and a ride operator. "We expect for them to be here and put on a good carnival act for the week of our fair".

Their rides were not inspected when they arrived in Tennessee.

After a 2014 audit found shortcomings in Tennessee's regulatory program for rides at fairs and amusement parks, state officials made a decision to get out of the inspection business altogether.

In a follow-up to the audit a year ago, the agency said Tennessee law does not require the state to hire its own inspectors.

Family Attractions received its permit to operate the Ferris wheel in Tennessee for the next three months based on a June inspection in IN, according to state Department of Labor and Workforce Development spokeswoman Jennifer Farrar.

According to the state, rides have been inspected annually to obtain a permit, and have also been inspected after an accident. That number includes waterparks, zip lines and other attractions.


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