17-Year-Old Girl Dies & 22 Others Are Injured in Halloween Hayride Horror

One of the activities many of us look forward to the most in autumn is visiting a pumpkin patch and climbing aboard a hayride to take a festive spin around a farm or wooded area. But one hayride in Maine turned deadly after it overturned and crashed into a tree, killing a 17-year-old girl and injuring 22 passengers.

The Gauntlet Haunted Night Ride wagon is a popular attraction at the Harvest Hills Farm in Mechanic Falls. Several students from Messalonskee High School were on board the flatbed truck when it reportedly missed a turn while pulling up to a haunted house on top of a hill and fell down the steep road, hitting a tree and overturning.

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Passengers were reportedly thrown to the ground and many collided into trees or into each other. One of the students, Cassidy Charette, reportedly died from injuries sustained on the ride. She was a member of the girls' soccer team at her school as well as a baseball player with a championship team.

In a heartbreaking twist, Cassidy also reportedly attended a homecoming event at her school with 16-year-old Connor Garland, who was the other student seriously hurt in the accident and is being treated at Boston Children's Hospital.

The driver of the 1979 Jeep that was pulling the hayride, David Brown, has also been hospitalized. According to a spokesperson for the farm, Brown was an experienced trucker with a commercial driver's license.

Even more young passengers might be seriously hurt right now if not for the assistance of several actors who were reportedly working at the attraction and provided CPR. About half-dozen injured passengers are being treated at the hospital, but none of their injuries are life-threatening, according to authorities.

Police are investigating the crash, but right now it is believed a mechanical problem is to blame for preventing the jeep from stopping before it fell down the hill.

The attraction has been operating for five years and has never had a problem, according to a farm spokesperson. After the crash, the park was evacuated.

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Our hearts go out to the parents of this young girl, and we wish all of the injured passengers a speedy recovery.

Does this story make you think twice about the safety of hayrides?

 

Image via firstgiving.com

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