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Attorney: Unfinished road work caused hay-ride crash

Emil Whitis • Oct 28, 2011 at 9:10 AM

An attorney says unfinished construction work on Patten Tract Road caused Saturday's hay-ride crash that left 28 people injured.

Erie County workers were working on the road Thursday, placing fill dirt along a 7-inch drop-off at the shoulder of the road.

“I think the fact that they’re out there now repairing the road speaks volumes,” said Troy Wisehart, the attorney representing Michael Hermes, 47, of Oxford Township, who was charged with aggravated vehicular assault, open container, failure to control and refusing to take a breathalyzer test.

Hermes was driving a tractor pulling two hay-ride trailers full of people when the rear trailer overturned, the Ohio State Highway Patrol said. Hermes refused to take a breathalyzer test at the scene, but troopers obtained a warrant to get a blood sample from him to determine if he was driving while intoxicated.

His wife, Kristi Hermes, 46, was charged with tampering with evidence because she tried to hide beer bottles at the crash scene, troopers said.

Want to read what Erie County engineer Jack Farschman has to say about the Patten Tract Road project? Pick up a copy of Friday's Register.

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