Last victim of NC State Fair Vortex accident leaves hospital

akenney@newsobserver.comFebruary 17, 2014 

— The man who was most severely injured when an N.C. State Fair ride went haywire last fall has left the hospital, according to a family friend.

Anthony Gorham, 30, of Wake Forest was one of four people in his family who were thrown off the Vortex when it unexpectedly spun back into motion during the fair in October.

“This is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it, for this is the day,” read a Feb. 12 update to the Give 2 The Gorhams fundraiser website, www.bit.ly/fairfunds. “He blessed my husband to come home from the hospital! Yes, today Anthony was discharged from the hospital!”

Nakiesha Sprull, a longtime friend of Kisha and Anthony Gorham, confirmed that Anthony Gorham had left the hospital. Both husband and wife, along with son Justen Hunter and niece Shykema Dempsey, were injured by the ride.

The family has declined to discuss Anthony Gorham’s injuries in detail. The fundraiser website reports that his recovery continues, while his niece is dealing with a back injury and his son faces the emotional trauma of the horrific scene.

The end of the hospital stay won’t end the family’s troubles, according to Sprull. Kisha Gorham has been waiting since Nov. 1 for Medicaid to approve her application for help, according to the fundraiser website, which has raised about $15,000. The family needs help because it has strained to cover its insurance premiums and other bills, with both parents out of work due to the accident, according to Sprull.

Joshua Macaroni, the owner of the Vortex, and Timothy Tutterrow, the operator, both have been charged with three felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, stemming from the injuries to the Gorhams and their son. They are accused of tampering with safety mechanisms to keep the ride running, potentially allowing the Vortex to operate while its riders weren’t secured.

Kenney: 919-829-4870; Twitter: @KenneyNC

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