Fall is the time of year known for apple picking and hayrides. What could be more fun than going on a hayride on a crisp autumn day surrounded by friends? Unfortunately, when dozens of people were injured on a hayride in Erie County recently, what seemed like a relaxing way to spend an October day ended with a serious accident.
A 47-year-old man was driving a tractor, which was pulling two hay wagons full of people behind it. According to the Ohio Highway Patrol, the tractor driver drove off of the right side of the road, which resulted in the rearmost wagon tipping over.
At least 28 passengers were ejected from the wagon in the accident, and many of those victims suffered personal injuries. At least two of the injured passengers sustained injuries serious enough that they needed to be transported to a Toledo hospital by helicopter.
The Ohio Highway Patrol believes that alcohol may have played a role in this tractor accident. Interestingly, the tractor driver refused to participate in field sobriety tests or take a breath test. However, a warrant was issued to draw the driver's blood, and the results of that blood alcohol test are currently pending.
For now, the driver has been charged with OVI and aggravated vehicular assault, among other offenses. Certainly, the dozens of injured passengers in this hayride accident will be interested in the outcome of those criminal cases.
In the meantime, whether the tractor driver was criminally liable or merely negligent, those suffering from the injuries they sustained in the tractor accident will need to consider whether they will need an experienced personal injury attorney who can assist them in determining whether they have valid claims for the injuries they suffered in this unfortunate accident.
Source: Chicago Tribune, "Man Charged in Erie County Hayride Crash that Injured Dozens," Jack Shea, Oct. 23, 2011